ISSN 1551-8086
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  April 2020
volume 17 number 1
-table of contents-
  contributing poets
  Jonathan Beale
  Stefanie Bennett
  Jackie Chou
  Joshua Corwin
  Raymond Fenech
  Rich Follett
  Jack Henry
  James Evert Jones
  Eric Lawson
  Phoebe Marrall
  Alexis A Ogunmokun
  Alexandra Olmedo
  Ronald Peat
  E. Martin Pedersen
  Francisca Ricinski-Marienfeld
  David Scriven
  Rishan Singh
  Tim Tipton
  Kelley White
  Lynn White
  Bill Yarrow
  Omar ZahZah
  mailing list
April 2020



    Coco is a Pasadena poet, public speaker, and performance artist. Her work is born of trauma and overcoming medical impossibilities. Writing is her secret to enduring. She is the author of Unicorn Psychosis, a collection of poetry, and has been published in Lummox 8, the Altadena Poetry Review (2019), Spectrum, and through Animal Heart Press. She is Spectrum Publishing’s Historian, Los Angeles Poet Society’s Archivist, Askew Lit co-host, and Fall 2019 Inscape Director of Operations – Chief Consulting Editor. Coco also loves being a mother, mentor, and mental health advocate.




I wonder if you clean that knife
the one you jab everyone in the back with

Do you wipe it off with a sanitized towelette
or just let the blood dry off on its own

Maybe you use it so much that
I contracted several deadly diseases

Is it always out
ready to pierce, slice, or
drive right into trust

Hard to see it coming from oblivious loyalty
my peripheral vision only caught your smile

The decent thing would be to
at least be quick about it

But oh no you push it through as if
time lapse was programmed into this moment

Twist ever so slightly left a quarter turn, right a quarter turn
then try an unsuccessful 360 to finish the job

You act like you’re the first
did you not see all the deep scars
On my cutting board
of a backside

I salt and lemon that shit I’m so used to the pain
I need a little extra something to make sure I still feel

You may think this is enough to kill me off
to shut me up
to get what you need
to feel like a man
to put me in my place
to teach me a lesson
to whisper

“you asked for this”

If I asked for this then why would you need
                                to stab me from behind

copyright 2020 Coco