Alyssa Mae Trifone Author Photo
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THERE IS THE THICK JULY HEAT,

and then there are the boys,
standing waist-deep
in a party of lily pads, hollering
my name. They are begging
me to throw my body off the bridge,
down to their hungering
teenage hands waiting in the river
below. Being wanted is a faraway myth
I am still not sure I believe
in, but it feels good to be noticed;
so I leap. Their hands surround
me when I land, lifting my body
into the air as if I am a trophy
and they are the winning team;
my body-their victory, an ornament
of desire; desire itself a game
I am not yet sure how to play;
but have learned well what losing
at means. These boys must believe
theirs are the first hands to prize
my body, but I was still sucking my thumb-
six years old- the first time my sex
was weaponized; the first time a man’s pleasure
stained my bed with its violence;
left bite marks on my bruises,
gaslit my body into a perpetual I’m sorry.
My body is forever apologizing
for itself, elbows folded tight
over my chest, hands covering
embarrassed thighs. It’s the hope
of someday forgiveness
that keeps me leaping off of bridges
into dangerous love- the chance
of landing in water that will hold my body
like a prayer, the tantalizing sun licking
my wet skin clean.

Bio – Alyssa May Trifone is a poet living in New England with her fiancee, dog, 3 cats, bunny, guinea pig and mischief of rats. Her work has been previously published by Germ Magazine, Anti-Heroin Chic and Hecate Magazine’s DECAY anthology. When she isn’t writing, she can be found enjoying a pistachio latte, preferably in the sunshine, with a good book.

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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