Gnashing Teeth Publishing

| words that get in your teeth

We Eye Love by Drew Pisarra

We were put on this planet to love. Not to make scads of money or win at thumb wrestling or drive cars fast, sales up, and folks crazy with petty demands. Yet ask someone to define love then watch as they bumble. (They’ll fumble, I promise.) Plus we each know full well what love means exactly. No one lacks that knowledge though a few do forgery it.

I have known the touch of love, as well as the rasp of its lips, the heat of its breath and the tangle of its hair, the power of its grip and the thrust of its demands, the sound of its release and the quiet that comes with its absence, its departure, its betrayal, its impostor, its death. Wait one second. We all know that love cannot die.

We are here on this planet to love in our living and by love I mean multitudes – physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, fleeting, forevermore, none common, none quite familiar, perhaps prompting calls, paintings, paragraphs, lines, fragments, poems, both rhyming and not, both measured and hot. This too is a love poem. This too will count.

I am fully aware of the scope of love for at 50, I’ve supped on the gamut. I’d go so far as to say that I’ve been love’s victim, its champion, its convert, its student, its constant fool. Every now and then, a new love arrives. New look. New shape. Every manifestation is unmatched a priori; every love that lasts past eye contact changes along the way.

We’ve been put on this planet in love despite AIDS and herpes, two-timers and serial killers, jealousies and insecurities; despite cruelty rooted in vengeance, meanness advanced in the tween years, the coldness of self-protection, the fashionable shrug to the starving world. Yet here the world is. Here is love. Here you are. Here’s your chance.

Love has wings and its own agenda, a vision in HD despite being blind, a sweeping gesture that’s made with precision, a viciousness that asks us to fucking be kind. Is it so hard to be fucking kind? Love is the best thing that we’ll ever find in our elusive ever-present, forward-thinking, backward-looking inevitable insubstantial selves. Hello, self!

Love is better than… you name it. Love has more lives than an ancient Hindu cat. Love can be declawed, slack-jawed, and unlawful, damaged, ravaged, savaged, sublime, bruised, misunderstood, misapplied, undermined, cheapened, lost and found then lost again, defaced, deformed, devil-horned, shopworn. You get the point. It’s why you were born.

We were. I have. We are. I am. We’ve been. Love has. Love is. Get to it.

BIO: Drew Pisarra is the author of You’re Pretty Gay (2021), a collection of short stories; Infinity Standing Up (2019), a collection of poems; and VOICEOVER (2022), a dance-theater piece co-written with Jerry Mouawad for Imago Theatre. A literary grantee of Cafe Royal Cultural Foundation and Curious Elixirs: Curious Creators, he recently read at The Whitney Biennial as part of a two-day event hosted by A Gathering of the Tribes.

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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

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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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