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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everything has been hard and heavy, as of late; in my world and the world at large— so yesterday i was drinking in small wonders like pretty tulips dancing out

What I Can Offer You by Rich Orloff

I cannot fix your pain I cannot solve your problem I can’t prevent the sorrow you’re feeling Or even guarantee I’ll make you smile However, because I’ve known Joy embracing

by Natalye Childress

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Orchards of Udders by Jon Wesick

dripped on the blanket while air rustled tamarind trees. Chekhov drank a Thai iced tea and plummeted out of this poem. A flock of circles twittered in the hacksaw bushes

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