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.

Goodnight, Taj Mahal by Andre Peltier

Deep below earth, clay and sand, deep below roots and aquifers, it lies in wait. Like that silent coyote stalking her white-tailed deer through the brush, it waits patiently and

contain by Megan Cartwright

verb past tense: contained; past participle: contained 1. have or hold (someone or something) within. Similar: hold carry To have and to hold in our own microcosm, constructed of hope.

Listening to Words by Mona Mehas

Listening to words out of touch cross lily pads, one to the next my rules, a tiny picture frame debt of honor, repay the gift. Headlights illuminate the path listening

Blooming by Elizabeth Gade

Some days are easy and some days are exhausting the days you have to dig through the muck inside take more hits than a heavyweight prize fighter cling to life

Pomegranate Rose by Laura Peña

I want to feed this delicacy To my concubine A tiny spoonful at a time I want to watch the luscious sorbet Linger on the tip of her tongue Melt


we love hearing from you. tell us everything