Gnashing Teeth Publishing

| words that get in your teeth

[Surviva|lNotice] by Toby Grossman

My friend is rushed to the ICU
and I am [worried|jealous].
The nurses flush out her death
wish with charcoal. I have offered
my chest as a [cutting|white] board
over and over and still
no one leaves
any [gashes|marks].
[Sometimes|always] I can’t breathe.
Won’t [someone|my mother]
unhook the [cross|sunlight]
weighing my neck?
Forgive me for being
[morbid|honest] but every time
I scrape poison
off another arrow
mouth, I chop my own
When the [knife|fact]
is pressed metal against
my sternum, I have nothing left
to [say|save].
The poke of my ribs
is a [shipwreck|answer]
but only treasures
drown. I’m looking for
my [mother|story]. She left me
for better [children|plots].
What can I tell my half
gone [past|god]?
I am not ready to abandon
this [planet|hurt] just yet
but I am so [weary|alive].
An ambulance siren wails
from my throat
but my friend is already

Bio:  Toby Grossman is a poet exploring the absurd and the paradoxical in between games of backgammon and scrabble. She often writes through the lens of her experiences with mental illness and alienation. Her work has recently appeared in Kissing Dynamite and Anti-Heroin Chic and is upcoming in The Bitchin’ Kitsch.

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


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