Three Poems

Ahead, by Alli Cruz
This morning, I wake up as a disembodied head / thoughts bloodied and matted / like cold wet dog fur / I feel a hand on my scalp / know it to be yours by its uncanny / dried leather smell / The blood / swims away from my neck / tiny fish / all the feral leaving the body / We were transformed into / two animals in the dark / Isn’t that what they / call us? / animals? / by the way we bear our teeth / and paw into each other / You put your hands on me call it love / as if saying, This is mine / that wordless snarl / that gnawing / wake of possession / Here’s what I want to know: What did you do / with my body? / I can do little to love / with just a head / It smells too much like fear / here, with my head held / down to the ground / as you blood me / A head cannot forget the howling hollowed / unholy silences / What is a head anyway? you ask / But a certain heaviness
The Strange, by Alli Cruz
At night, as I lay down in the river / and sprout sunflowers / from my sternum / I bloom into something / other than myself / shrouded in synthesized moonlight / yellow petals / like rocket ships / torpedoing into / the space / between the palm trees / that unfounded territory / The neighborhood kids wait / for me / by the banks / climb up the stalks / parents asleep / Tiny f eet / kick off the overgrown leaves / as they leap / higher / laughing as those veiny / green wings / fall soft / silent / into the slow current / Desire is a careless / unclaiming / When I was ten, I said to Mama / I want to be an artist / I think / what I meant was: I want to grow / something strange / from that thing inside my chest / expanding it beyond my fingertips / like an upstream lung

A man who is / too hungry / begins / eating himself / 

Excuse me, sir, but is that / your eye / resting / on the tip / of your tongue? / I see you rolling 

that eye / at me / How rude / it is / not to speak / with your mouth / open wide / Sir, / what is it / that you don’t want yourself / to see?

A man who is / too hungry / is still / an animal / comprised of loosely / assembled parts / Look closely / To know oneself / is a dangerous / consumption / A man who is / too hungry / fears / his appetite / but makes a home / in the dark cool cage / of his mouth / 

Would you like / a glass of red / wine / sir? / You seem to be choking / on that bit / of brain / sir / You can’t make / disappear / what’s already / been / inside you /

A man / who is / too hungry / filters his words / through flecks of his / chewed flesh / 

What’s that, sir? / You haven’t said / a word / all evening / sir / Oh! / I think / a finger / is stuck/ between / your teeth / I’d hand you / a toothpick but / you haven’t got any / hands / left / 

A man / who is too / hungry / knows that his body / tastes / like green lights and / power and he / can’t / get enough / 

I can’t hear you / at all / sir / Your mouth / is too / full of itself

Alli Cruz

Alli Cruz is a junior at Stanford University majoring in English & Creative Writing with a minor in Theater & Performance Studies. She is deeply interested in narrativizing parts of the body through poetry as an exploration of gendered power dynamics and the human psyche. Cruz has previously served as Managing Editor for Arts & Life at The Stanford Daily, the Artistic Intern at American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, and the Artistic Associate for New Georges Theater in NYC. Currently, she is the Literary Manager for Stanford Asian American Theatre Project and has work forthcoming in The Olivetree Review.

Arthur Asa

Arthur Asa was born in Monterrey City, México. He speaks less and draws more every day. As it should be.


First Featured In: No. 13, spring 2019

The Comeback Issue

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