issue 31 poetry

Prescribed Burn

by A.M. Kennedy

sports shorts by Katie Whatley

Prescribed Burn

Year of Fire: everything is matchstick fingers,
touch the skin of any man and he smolders,
the books you love crisp to ash,
and what remains is coal and gristle and eulogy.

Year of Flood: salt tears fill up the cup, up the bath,
press acorns into the mud, sinking even as you
try to tread. Algae and mold grow between fingers and toes,
voice like a croak, like a wail, and then drowned
like a siren, shrieking to get out.

Year of Blackout: half sun, full stars,
climb out of the well with ears still ringing,
the muck is black, the sky is ashen, the sun hides itself
behind the clouds, fearful of you reemergence.

Year of Persephone: bones grow back smooth and green
frogs and fish and lilies all breathed into being,
you carry the bowl of impossible spring
and pour it all over everything, generously.

A.M. Kennedy is a writer, photographer, and painter. She has been previously published in I-70 Review, Ambit, Grub Street, and others.

Katie Whatley is a Queer artist born and raised in South Florida. She is pursuing a Painting and Drawing minor in addition to her Bachelor’s in Political Science at Louisiana State University. She currently resides in Baton Rouge, LA, where she enjoys LSU Tigers football. Her work has been featured in publications such as 805 Lit + Art and Sink Hollow.