Gnashing Teeth Publishing

| words that get in your teeth

Once, When I Was Pretty by Anastasia DiFonzo

When Grandma said her legs would look like mine had the gravity of her life not done what gravity does, what she’d prayed it would not do to her, & I, seven, said I wished I was bigger, when what I meant was see that I am small, when I thought I was not small, when all I wanted was to fit inside Daddy’s arms, when I knew & pretended I didn’t that those arms painted the bruise on Mommy’s face, when I wanted to be artwork too, when I thought to be loved was to be helpless, to need saving. When I was helpless & could not be saved. When I was fifteen & told no one the texture of my step-father’s hands. I was graceful as Grandma in her twenties, each of us floating outside our battleground bodies. We were light in this way.

Bio: Anastasia DiFonzo (she/her) lives and writes in Oakland, CA with her chaotic cat Klaus. Her debut chapbook, A Certain Serenity, was published in April of 2022 with Puna Press. She also has words in New Contrast, Kalopsia Lit, Serotonin Poetry, and elsewhere. She is on Instagram at @anastasia.difonzo.

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Pushcart Prize Nominees for 2023

Gnashing Teeth Publishing is proud to submit the following poems for consideration of the Pushcart Prize. Each of these nominees had work published by us in 2023, whether online or

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The Reflection by Nadia Nunez

What an obscurity energy there’s no serenity A smile is what you’ll never see All you’ll hear is “In memory” Not a single ring on the telephone All you see


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