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personal travails

kept me awake at 3 am

a IKEA hammer resting at my crouch

I want to take apart my childhood bed

where the abuse happened

 

a distant cousin

with long, dirty fingernails

& a wagging tongue tormented

my four hot summers

 

he insisted his prick

tasted like strawberries

what a prick

he never heard the word no

until Daddy shut

the whole thing down

 

when I was skinny-hipped

without much nutrition

braces shining

I still hate this room

 

but my paintings are still there

& brushes & paints

I take my easel to the water’s edge

breathing, I trace the mountains

peeking out of rainy mist

I gain back some sanity

as the river lapped down

 

it’s the one place

I can calmly breathe

Born in Norman, Oklahoma, Carrie Magness Radna is an audiovisual cataloger at the New York Public Library, a choral singer and a poet who loves to travel. Her poems have previously appeared in The Oracular Tree, Muddy River Poetry ReviewPoetry Super HighwayWalt’s CornerAlien Buddha PressCajun Mutt Press, The Rye Whiskey Review and First Literary Review-East. Her latest poetry collection, In the blue hour (Nirala Publications) was published in February 2021.

https://carriemagnessradna.com

book cover of Dominant Genes

BOOK REVIEW: Dominant Genes by SJ Sindu

In S.J. Sindu’s Black River Chapbook Competition winning collection, she posits questions about female bodies and queer identities as a means to confront and interrogate tradition. Dominant Genes serves as

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