Autoimmune ~ by Lydia Swartz

I kill you all the time but I don’t mean to. It is an inevitable result of you trying to kill me without meaning to.

You dress up like rusty edged love & make sure my fingers will lie. Silk, they’ll say, & satin, as you cut me to the bone.

My beloved allergen, you make me crave you. As blood leaves me, I yearn for more infection.

I am crazy in love. I love how you make me feel. I love how you dull my senses to anything else. As my throat closes, I want my blue lips to close around you, to taste you one more time.

Instead, I kill you. I starve you. I lock you away from my need, where you cannot be seen. I drive past your house, but I don’t go in.

There are those who say our next encounter will be the death of me. There are days when I think that is a perfect way to die.

Lydia Swartz, 2013


The Pope’s Penis ~ by Sharon Olds

It hangs deep in his robes, a delicate
clapper at the center of a bell.
It moves when he moves, a ghostly fish in a
halo of silver seaweed, the hair
swaying in the dark and the heat—and at night
wile his eyes sleep, it stands up
in praise of God.