Three Poems

The Answer

“I married you
for all the wrong reasons”
– Linda Pastan, I Married You
When he lost his balance while getting 
down on one knee (“So, will you?”
was how it finally fell from his lips),
when he looked up at me and
I looked down at my finger (afraid
the halo would never come off),
when I replayed the night Aunt Ellie passed 
and the way teary snot dripped from his nose
(“I’m making a mess” he moaned),
I thought of saying no.


I did not know my lips could turn blue 
while standing in the sun. But he left
and it got cold, standing alone with You—
a cold memory—creeping in through
windows, mail slots, laundry baskets. (You are quite deft.)
And now my teeth are chattering, and my lips are blue.
I remember his scent, clean and fresh like the morning dew, 
and I will not, can not, believe that I am bereft
of him. Even while standing here with You.
I have so many things to say to him, a whole slew
of accusations: perjury (his vows), murder (our dreams), theft
(my youth), and others I cannot say with lips iced over and blue.
And though I desperately want to, I’m scared to
make a sound; I don’t want to give his presence more heft
than it already has. He doesn’t deserve that after leaving me with You.
But then I hear someone screaming (is that me screaming?) Screw you! 
It doesn’t matter, though, because memories are deaf,
and if I whisper, speak, cry, shriek, my lips turn bluer
still. Because when he left, he made sure that I’d be left with You.

Self Portrait

Blonde Hair Says
I party hard and
dumb sluts have more fun, but no
one judges fairly.
My Eyes
Gold with flecks of green:
scanning the world in color,
processing in grey.
Inside the Nose
Citrus, mint, and musk
seduce the senses until
I can remember
His Lips
Reminiscent of
Red Velvet—sweet as sugar,
cake-battered and bruised.
The Heart
is a cardboard box—
four flaps refusing to close
no name, no address
My Spine
forms the letter S—
scoliosis has stripped me
of a straight backbone.
Brittle white tips get
clipped and polished—Nature’s proof
that I’m still growing.
My Legs
Help me leave—hurry!—
but his memory holds fast.
(I need to speed up.)
Without Feet
No measure of poise
and feeble attempts to stand...
Mia Herman

Mia Herman is a freelance editor, poet, and violinist from Queens, New York. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Hofstra University in 2013. Since then, her poems have appeared in multiple journals, and her essay, “Leap of Faith,” won Honorable Mention in the 2014 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest. Mia writes mostly confessional and narrative poetry, but her writing is also affected by issues like gender, disability, place, and politics. When she isn’t staring blankly at a computer screen or scribbling away in a little journal (she keeps at least one in every handbag she owns), Mia enjoys spending time with family, going to concerts, watching an obscene amount of reality TV, and sharing tuna sandwiches with her two cats, Tubby and Arnold.

Dara Cochran

Dara Cochran is a multi-disciplined creative personality with backgrounds in both Illustration and Business Administration. A freelance illustrator and fine artist, Cochran loves the challenge of tackling new subject matter, working in a variety of traditional and digital media. Her skills as an artist are as diverse as her interests, and she enjoys every opportunity to combine media, creating an aesthetic unique to each piece. Dara currently lives and works in Colorado, splitting her time between the studio and the beautiful outdoors.

First Featured In: No. 1, spring 2015

F(r)iction #1

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