Little Pleasures Lost & Found

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Photo by Luis Morera on Unsplash

I swallow him: his eyes and song and voice,
and hypnotize myself into a state
of listening, absorbing every choice
he’s made, the prayers he’s uttered, wipe the slate
of self away, his bones become my own
the scoliosis and the heart attack;
no easy transformation, bend and groan,
consider the minutiae, every slack
of muscle, every word to him prescribed.
Now weight it all and shape the living clay —
but carefully! …


It’s all about staying on the straight and narrow.

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Photo by Robert Murray on Unsplash

There’s a lot about poetry that’s confusing, especially once you pop the hood open and start digging around in the engine of what makes poetry — and language — actually work.

One distinction that’s been really difficult, I’ve noticed, for people to verbalize is the difference between poetry and prose.

Most people have a general idea of what the two mean. Like, you can recognize when something is prose, and when it is poetry. …


A sonnet for Theodore Finch.

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Photo by MagsishMoon @ deviantart

after Jennifer Niven

Inhale. A primal gasp. It comes to us
so simply — else, it should, but breathing is
a Herculean task — but breathe we must
to keep our blood electric with the fizz
of possibility. Flutter your eyes,
pull all of Heaven in a perfect line
and let it rescue you from sure demise,
a moment or an hour. It is fine
outside. Bundle yourself against the cold
that presses in, the heartlessness of words
thrown carelessly. …


A poem for Adrian Ivashkov

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By JemInABox@dA

after Richelle Mead

Tender the monster, light on jagged glass.
You grin at him, the bastard beats your ass
tomorrow. Rip the blankets from your bones
and cower there. The monster knows he owns
the hollow of your ribs, he snaps away
at fingerbones. You lose another day
or ten ’til Spirit fills your rag-doll heart
with blood and magic. Now you have to start
broadcasting charisma. Wink, smile, and grin;
drop dead and do it all over again.
Eventually you’ll fall and never rise,
you figure it’s a pre-ordained demise.
She doesn’t, though. She silences the stink. …


A Sonnet for Reyna Avila Ramírez-Arellano

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Photo by Shirly Niv Marton on Unsplash

after Rick Riordan

Love is no jubilee, no comfort, warm enough to stave off winter, fill a heart left wanting, nor a shelter from the storms that breath their thunder, crackle to a start and settle in. Love is no meat nor mead to satisfy a stomach turned by grief nor will it sate the monsters left to feed upon her prayers, upon steadfast belief unquestioned all these years. Love is no shield, no gladius to keep her death at bay. Love is what, then? A warrior so skilled, a girl, a lord, a leader doesn’t play at politics unarmored…

Zach J. Payne

(He/They) Ninja Writer. Thespian. Queer. Essayist, poet, novelist. “In Search of Sunflowers” available on Kindle now.

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