Gnashing Teeth Publishing

| words that get in your teeth

You’re in Fucking Portland by Aimee Hope

Zombie-people posed like mannequins
in waxy flexibility;
holding cardboard signs on corners
of once-spirited, bustling streets
that vibrated with life and movement.
The ghosts of people
who once frequented the city streets
have been replaced
by cockroaches and rats
scurrying behind plywood-boarded windows
and the fentanyl-addled
shuffle past a deal made
in the open air.
Plexiglass boxes are screwed
into apartment hallways
housing two boxes of Narcan;
waiting patiently; stoically
to squirt up the nostrils of the overdosed;
promising to try to hold someone
until emergency services shows…
maybe… (on both);
because mercury is in retrograde
and nobody really knows
what’s in the latest batch
and your guess is as good as mine
whether an ambulance will show
because there is just not enough help
to hold this herd back.
The criminals know
the pens are overflowing
but the citizens still earnestly believe
this ain’t no Mad Max shit
up in this bitch
where the only semblance of order
is the motorcycle cop in aviators
writing me a hands-free ticket
while a skeletal girl
with dirty, translucent skin
shoots up
on the sidewalk in front of me;
because all Public Enemy #1 wanted
was some fucking iPhone Map directions
and as long as I use your correct pronouns
and don’t stare at the stuffed animal
you carry around for emotional support;
we can pretend this shitshow
of a social experiment we call home
is not using human subjects
who never signed a release.
____
I’m just a real woman-child, and an iconoclast and visionary in my own mind who likes to pretend to be a VooDoo priestess with dermatillomania.

The Unwelcome by Glen Mitchell

There is an unwelcome stranger living here A thief You’ve been living here a long time You’ve stolen from me My heart My youth My spirit Stolen from me The

Nothing More by Dara Kalima

after “Ms. Found in a Bottle” a short story by Edgar Allan Poe Of my country and of my family I have little to say. They have little to say

America, The Beautiful? by Douglas G. Cala

Rampant inflation chokes the life out of purse strings and auras Conglomerated mass media infiltrates our psyches with images of celebrity, fashion and click-bait news Healthcare reform is stymied by

I can smell the war coming by Rhea Melina

It’s too many days uninterrupted with rubber burning in my nostrils and exhaust fuming on my cheeks, I try to brush it off, it doesn’t go away I cough, it

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