Voice of Eve
ISSUE 17 - JULY 30, 2019 COVER ART - SAMANTHA CABRERA
Contents Diana Rosen 4 Abigail A. Kipp 10 Ashley Allen 18 Diana Pinckney 26 Elizabeth Koury 32 Ellen Tovatt Leary 38 Jayashree Sitaraman 42 Karli Bryant 46 KJ Hannah Greenberg 54 Laura Ingram 60 Mary Shanley 64
Ruth Voss 72 Sam Smiley 78 Sarah Blair 88 Samantha Cabrera 96
My Fred Astaire
My room is awash with a shadowy comb of light, a film noir moment from our once and former life. You are John Payne, baritone rich, moves so smooth. I am Betty Grable, high-heeled legs, singing sassy. We tango in the galley kitchen to the nonchalance jazz of Shirley Horn, jitterbug in the living room to the cast album of Ain’t Misbehavin’, yawn bravura arias with Pavarotti, Sutherland, the other Horne. Finally, we fox-trot to a melancholy track, my ear a conch to the beat of your heart.
How Not to be an Old Maid
The plan was this, to be unavailable just once. So, on their usual Friday night together, she left town, chose a lovely hotel-by-the-sea where she paced the floor, dined alone. So alone. And, barely resisted the phone. He dialed her home, got no response, nothing at all. Friends hadn’t a clue. Her apartment was dark. Imagining the worse, he dissolved, fell completely apart. 7 p.m. Sunday, as if on cue, she returned to be greeted by hysteria! Drama! (It did please her so.) “Oh, I’ve been visiting friends. You know …” They drove off to Vegas the very next week, and for thirty-six years, traveled the world, always together, referred to as RoseAndJerry, as if there was a need for a conjunctive. And, yes, she confessed to the fear of that loneliest weekend, but never, not ever, regret.
[Previously published in Intergeneration Month, November 2015, online journal.]
You used to walk these same streets with the pride every mother feels gazing into the stroller of her newborn. Oh, he was so pale and beautiful, fragile. You used to walk these same streets with John in his handsomeness, his voice booming hello to each familiar face. After the accident, dazed in grief until someone ---who was it really -- picked you up where you collapsed, carried you to that place that helps heal. The last step in the process, the doctor said, was to walk by the scene of the crash to move on, toward tomorrow. You used to walk this same street every day but this day, you find yourself at the end of the block realizing you’ve missed the actual spot. The stains are gone. The sidewalk looks clean, new. You feel empty, until a soft breeze whispers, “Continue.”
About Diana Rosen
DIANA ROSEN’s collection of micro fiction and poems, “Love & Irony” is forthcoming from Red Bird Chapbooks. Also forthcoming is an essay in the anthology about poets and poetry, “Far Villages” from Black Lawrence Press and two poems in the art and poetry anthology, “Lottery Blues”. Her essays, poems, and micro fiction have appeared in Tiferet Journal, RATTLE, Zingara Review, among many others, including the inaugural issue of Voice of Eve.
ABIGAIL A. KIPP
According to an African Creation Myth
ABIGAIL A. KIPP`
We, humans, were whole with two heads two hearts two souls then something broke us in half shattering the mirror of how we want to be. whether it was a god, arrogance or fate. we were meant to find our other half, along the way what we were became so chipped from daily life, the cruelty of humanity, we were unrecognizable. a mess of glass and bone. we could be our past stuck in memories of abuse from loved ones and strangers. a jumble of glass pushing at skin unable to see past the idea of what if, past rape and death. or we could be more.
we could be stronger whole again. with a simple pot of glue.
His Voice in My Throat
ABIGAIL A. KIPP
Do you have any demons Parts of you You wish you could cut out Like self-doubt Because I got baggage Tons of voices in my head Moments of catallysm I should tell you I’m a disaster Gifted at taking anything And turning it to rot You look at me Like I look at you Knowing something could grow But I’m a disaster Diseased in the core No fixing something so broken I wake up crying From nightmares of white picket fences I’ll turn you inside out Make you doubt Any word out of your mouth Your voice rings in my throat Telling me I should tell you I am a disaster Broke and homeless I don’t know up from down I have a gift For being cold I’ll burn our bridge And push you away
Terse But maybe our broken pieces match Maybe our disaster is enough But I’m afraid
ABIGAIL A. KIPP
I never sent the letters Saying I miss you I wrote them a hundred times Took each one Made a snow ball Of moments to forget And burned them With a touch You never heard me When I spoke Those words But maybe If I write them You will But I keep losing My letters Forgetting my words Drawing a blank on syllables Disremembering my pen Losing sight of the ink And memory slips on paper I never sent those feelings But maybe one day I will
About Abigail A. Kipp
Abigail A. Kipp is a poetry student in Austin, TX. She got her undergraduate degree in Creative writing at New Mexico State University. She has an interest in form and harder topics.
I am... Goddess
I am a goddess. With this mouth and tongue, I was sent from Heaven to pleasure you. You think you know all your turn-ons, Until I find a new one, under your jaw. “Holy shit, where did that come from?” You squirm, knowing I have the better hand in this poker game. Popping you open, like an expensive bottle of Pinot Noir, You grip the sheets, surrendering your body. “Don’t worry, this will only blow your mind,” I whisper, as I take your cock into my mouth. You gasp for air, as I suck the innocence from your body. I make you realize how other girls lack the experience to pleasure you. Even the busiest whore could not compare; She fucks for sex, I for the worship. Your eyes give me what’s mine As I mount you, my golden chariot. Your eyes squeeze shut just before you release your white wine into me. Breathing heavily, I look into your eyes, “You have done well, my faithful follower.” I am the goddess Who took your first time. And you, Have no regrets.
Playing in the Pond
You touch me with your finger. Causing ripples, like those I make When I grip the satin sheets. The wind that whispers into your ears Imitates my breaths as I climb The mountain to orgasm. Hum goes the dragonfly’s wings, Mmm, I moan. I am warm from the sun’s rays, You like it too. Swirling your finger inside me Amplifies my moans as a chorus of Bees have joined the dragonflies. You keep turning up the volume Up Up Up Until it disturbs the birds; Their wings ruffling the leaves in unison. Removing your finger, the ripples go through The pond like electricity; Power and sensual.
My Crab Apple Tree
I live there, up over the hill, Embraced by the white pines and the hard maples, Our Lincoln Log house carefully constructed by CAD software My parents learned in their drafting classes. When I was young, I assembled the foundation for the rocky porch That massages your feet as you walk. I look up at the porch posts and wonder: Why is there a metal cross where the beams intersect? Is this a sign that my home is the savior I turn to when I run from his con But he will never know why I chose to come home Rather than staying in town. I walk down the hill to my crab apple tree. The pink petals get caught in the wind and dance Like the time AC/DC was blaring from his phone And we had a prom date with alcohol. I slouch against the soft bark and I let my head fall between my knees. The good memories become horrible nightmares. Our evenings together turned into me serving him glasses of water. Friends forgot that I existed because he was more important than them. My crab apple, you never fail to catch a tear As I sit here, pondering, praying That he gets tired and leaves me. Oh bitter balloon, we are alike; Beautiful and elegant in a gentle gale, But bitter and cracked when tornado winds hit. Each spring, I am reminded of your beauty and your strength. To Hell with this boy! He will never know how I collect your petals and create Exquisite pressed art between my favorite pages. You might be home to the birds and the bees, But you are mine too.
About Ashley Allen
Ashley Allen writes plays, poetry, and sometimes fiction. She got her BA in a production company in Louisville, Kentucky.
n theatre from the University of Southern Indiana. She works as a carpenter for
At the edge of the surf with her nieces and nephew, my daughter guides a small hand dripping beach sand. She thinks she’s one of the kids, my daughter-in-law says as she smiles at the four of them making a turret the boy is fond of tearing down. Building up and tearing down can be fun unless it’s your life. My daughter’s life was up in sober times of guiding a brush across canvas until she was down. Her last years were a climb. Even so, she was taken as surely as the tide takes the most carefully rendered castle.
valei of teeris
-- The Wycliffe Bible, 1395
Our vale of tears, that valley of misery, will be left when we enter heaven, it is said. Left behind at my daughter’s death, I live behind a veil. Days spent on the verge, become nights falling off the edge, plunging where everything is lost, even air.
About Diana Pinckney
Diana Pinckney is the winner of the 2010 Ekphrasis Prize, Atlanta Review’s Prize, among other awards. Published in RHINO, Cave Wall, Green Mountain San Pedro River Review, NCLR, and other journals and anthologies, Pinckney
s 2012 International Poetry Prize and Prime Number Magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2018 Poetry ns Review, Tar River Poetry, The Pedestal Magazine, Still Point Arts Quarterly, Calyx, y has five books of poetry, the latest titled, The Beast and The Innocent.
Thursday, July 29th, 2010 1P.M. (I Remember) ELIZABETH KOURY
I remember kneeling on Teta’s smoke-infused couches and peering outside of her large window looking at the entire view of Twin Peaks. My initial ten-year-old thoughts being: It’s such a pretty day for such a horrible thing to happen. I wonder what she’s doing in Heaven right now. And, I hope she’s finally feeling better after her long battle. I remember feeling as if I went through every single stage of grief that day. Because I loved her so much. I remember trying to picture the good times of us laughing together in our pool for hours every summer so I could stop crying in front of all the relatives. Although, the relatives were too concerned about who was getting her gold jewelry. I remember both my aunts trying to play Scrabble with me, as if wooden letters would bring my grandmother back or even get my mind off of her just passing away. I remember people that hadn’t visited her for years showing up to her house that day to pay respects. Being so young, I remember thinking,
It’s stupid when you’re dead how all of a sudden people care. She deserved so much better than that. Death is not an event where you dress in black and just show up. It’s grief, pain, love, and most of all— memories. Nobody could replace you, Teta.
About Elizabeth Koury
Elizabeth Koury has been studying and writing poetry for several years now she has made it on her fridge. She resides in Modesto, California and atten fiction story writing and poetry, she now wants to major in Neuroscience b school, she likes to camp or swim with her family and friends at the lake o and one chiweenie named Moxie.
w. Even though she has never been published before, she is still proud to say nds Modesto Junior College. Although sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always had a passion for short because of her recently being diagnosed with epilepsy. When sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not in or in her pool. She has one brother named Sami that goes to Sacramento state
ELLEN TOVATT LEARY
It will be anarchy, you know. Pain and devastation. Lancelot and Guinevere, Clandestine assignations. Don’t stare at me across the room. Don’t flirt with other women. Don’t look at my lips when you look at me, Don’t smile and hold the door. It will be guilt and misery. Don’t keep the scarf I wore. It will be bedlam. That’s for sure! Pandemonium. Abelard and Eloise, Edward and Mrs. Simpson. Don’t call my house on some pretext, Just to hear my voice. Don’t brush my arm as you pass by, Don’t compliment my hair. It will be blame and telling lies, Anguish and despair. You are like a drug I can’t put down. A habit I can’t shake. It will be endless, sleepless nights And drinking too much wine. It will end in tragedy Samson and Delilah. I must not pass your house again. I must not speak your name. If you should leave I’ll lose my mind. If you should stay: the same.
About Ellen Tovatt Leary
Ellen Tovatt Leary graduated from Antioch College with a BA in Theatre Arts. As a Fulbright scholar, she went on to study for a year at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). She has performed in four of the famous Broadway theaters, the Lyceum, the Helen Hayes, the Barrymore and the Palace, acting in a total of eight Broadway shows and working with theater greats like Hal Prince, James Hammerstein and Dore Schary among others. She has also performed in off-Broadway shows like the Manhattan Theatre Club, The Roundabout, Lincoln Center, and in touring companies. You can see more details on her IBdB page. When she ended her theatre career she began writing. For fourteen years she wrote profiles for the Carnegie Hill News on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. She is also the author of a memoir detailing her life growing up in Greenwich Village in the 1940’s called MOTHER ONCE REMOVED, which is available on Amazon.com.
Flock of Geese
On my walk, I see a flock of geese Chatting and gaggling loudly Are they girl geese Having a girls’ day out Shopping for some worms and bird seed? On a spa day Grooming their feathers and beaks? Or a bunch of teenagers Hanging out and chilling? Maybe a group of old geese Gaggling about days gone by? I wonder what they Must be chatting about I wonder if they ever think Or worry, compare or complain? Maybe they are just happy To be with their flock Flying high, doing their thing Whatever they were born to do Maybe they are just being geese.
About Jayashree Sitaraman
Jayashree Sitaraman is a scientist who is interested in writing poems and non fiction, travel and going on hikes in Nature. Her work has appeared in The Lily and The Voices Project.
Another Glass of Red Wine for Me, Father
How I longed to sit at our table again, you at one end and I at the other, indulging in the Innocence of red wine, preserved since its birth by you and me. Many sit at our table with us, some good and some bad, some pass you and some grovel at your feet. And you still let the sinners sit at our table. Why did you allow the blind sinner into our precious home? You, Father sat idly by as he drank my cup, my purest offering, now muddled by dirtied lips and the legacy of the twelve Mary’s that came before me. Why allow your little lamb to become his unlucky number thirteen? The red wine that once belonged to me, father, to you, how it tore, how it bore, how it broke the bonds of you and I. Will you give the blind man your eyes father? For his lustful cataracts veil the rapidly blurring line between wrong and right. Will you give him your eyes father? For we are trapped between the reflection of innocence and the image of truth. Are your omnipotent eyes just as blurred? As Shepard, why must you sit idly by as your pure flock is slaughtered I know you watch us, father. I know you see me, father, pounding at the dead-bolted doors of eternal Life. Just when I thought I could be your daughter again, just when I thought I could come home again, you, father, sat idly by as our home poured out into the fire soothed arms of Hell. I screamed father. I fought father. I said no, father. But my bleating heart fell on ever-deafening ears. The muddled wine smears my spot at our table, the one I still long
to belong in. And I will shout it from the mountain tops, while you won’t whisper in my ear. But forgive me father, for I have sinned in the eyes of blind men. You pour another glass for Him father, while you watch me drink from an empty cup. So, I plead again, expecting no reply, another glass of red wine for me, father?
I long to feel your touch again. Just your touch, nothing but The sweet dark roasted smell of you. Our future never arrived But may we relive the past Rekindle at last A dying spark of a physical right 5 fingers meet five fingers in the raze of waking night To praise the dying of the light Darkness allows the touch consumption Under the assumption That nothings will last. I and you and we are temporary Wary beings but of flesh To mesh once more to be To-get-her. Again. But, May we never meet this end We will drown outside Noah’s precious arc for we are not two and two. An imperfect pair All too aware Of trifles and strife of futures crumbled In mumbles speaking of love lost Gone to the tempest of the world Relentless hearts give up. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here The mental trap to physically attract
The man who no longer wants you. Abandon all hope of the future And enter into a past relived. Relive. Relieve. Realize. The past sets and lets us into the future With sutures binding them as one. Five fingers meet five fingers To praise the mourning In morning come. May we never relive the past Outcast by touches to never exist. Together was never For us. For we were always Truly apart. And may we maintain The way we remain.
About Karli Bryant
Karli Bryant is a young aspiring author from Marietta, GA. She currently at pathologist.
ttends the University of Georgia and is studying to become a speech language
KJ HANNAH GREENBERG
KJ HANNAH GREENBERG
“Flipping houses,” peculiarly, used to mean “working on investments, ta Dividends.” Today, all the same, mollycoddling regularly transports forw Hackneyed gifts. As well, disregarding attempts to engineer pit bosses’ cr Brings, at best, questionable earnings.
Realize, any shortfall in companionable devotion, in that sickly sweet feel Of imposture, of believing deceptive comforts wrought by upholding scien Outplays operatic showers, potentially, this flank of the Mississippi. Defic Stymie super intelligent graduate students, also slugs.
Contrarians might profess how embracing adored subject matter makes g Results, not unhappy endings. They’re wrong. Note; conveying designs co Personal integrity, tuition, maybe virginal rights, parasols, plus guano sa Success will never be as not cheap as scotch.
aking ward ries,
ling nce, cits
good osts, achets.
KJ HANNAH GREENBERG
Searching for, plus publishing, on Facebook, Instagram, maybe also Twitter, various reserved bits, pieces, remarks, images, gossips, can Create further pageants of allegorical, pudendum-like indiscretions. Unlike airport or factory hawker centers, the Internet’s no place for Dubious samples, their amazing flavors notwithstanding. Crossing Appendages ill-suffices to ward off peers. Deleting recovers amity. Accordingly, morons, snake oil salesmen, disparate malevolent folk, Get rubricked as prancing, distributing rumors, tittle-tattles, buzzes Consisting of bosh or trash, while we simples reinvestigate propriety.
About KJ Hannah Greenberg
KJ Hannah Greenberg captures the world in words and images. Her latest photography portfolio is 20/20: KJ Hannah Greenberg Eye on Israel. Her newest poetry collection is The Wife/ Mom (Seashell Books, 2019). Her most recent fiction collection is Walnut Street (Bards & Sages Publishing, 2019).
Visiting the Doll Hospital
Christ has his second coming as my Granddad’s coat with me, clattering after him like a coin tossed atop a card table December sun squinting its unlashed eye and President Hoover’s promises interrupting the piano’s chattering teeth false contralto ringing from the radio by the cash register. Me, cupping the chipped china cheek of my Shirley temple doll, her pink glass lips blunt and glimmering as a bad dream, her broken arm tied to her chest with cheesecloth. My Sunday school shoes fib to the Persian rug Heaven is a place downtown two blocks from the Bay porcelain limbs stacked to the ceiling Startling somewhere between linen and lace at shelf after shelf of cephalophores in silk only half having hats to cover their hearts. No one has ever taught me to pray— at least, not completely but I fall down idle and mouthing holy as glass blessing boxes of broken alabaster bodies as if they, like me were daughters thread hanging from their handmade hearts.
About Laura Ingram
Laura Ingram is a tiny girl with big glasses and bigger ideas. Her first collection, a book of poetry, was released with Desert Willow Press in May 2018. Her poetry and prose have been published in fifty-four literary magazines, among them Gravel, Blue Marble, and Juked Literary Journal. A sophomore student, Laura studies creative writing. She loves Harry Potter and Harry Styles.
A Shaman is Drumming
The unconscious faces taunt you in dreams, gaping, accusing as you lay twisting in your bed of blood and fear A shaman is drumming by the fire, to bring you light and courage as you struggle to control the reins of your unruly nature. The strain etched in your face belies the bravery you display as you face being born into a familial abuse, war and now, an adult with PTSD. You panic, driven crazy by your wildly Spirited energy. You are out of control And who will bring you back? Listen to the Shaman drumming by the fire to bring you light and courage to find your way back from your unfortunate tumble into the bottom of the well where unconscious faces are both animated and vivid. There is another life here. it is hot and it is dangerous A Shaman is drumming for you to find your way back. A Shaman is drumming for your soul’s healing.
All things are connected to your plight and are willing to help you. Listen to the Shaman drumming by the fire to bring you light and courage. Listen to the drumming rhythms to settle you down resurrect your mind from the dark. Listen.
Getting Ready to Leave
Everything is rotating, revolving at such a dizzying speed, it’s getting harder to keep my balance. Disinformation overdose, life at the end of an era. Too much to overlook and remain sane. It’s knocked me on my side, and now I see everything in profile. Should I take a picture of this? I’m desperate. Corporate news continues to miss the humanitarian point and, instead, wallows in Presidential criminalities. The government continues to devolve into a bacchanal, while displaying mounting cruelty and look at how many people are starving now. I can’t process the sadness, rage and pain of it all. I can only toss a dollar into a beggars cup, send money to schizophrenic sister, continue to love Lisa, write and read poems aloud, listen to music, play the piano. Live amidst the devastation, mostly outside
the confines of civilization. Strategize survival plans as sustainability of life on planet earth is becoming rapidly more impossible. Leaders deny scientists’ warnings: utter destruction in the wake of apocalyptic hurricanes, heartbreaking visuals of polar ice caps melting and the polar bear panic. Terrifying earthquakes swallow up life, tidal waves toss lives into eternity, Upscale lifestyles supplant affordable housing, downhome poetry and street music squeezing itself in. Can’t afford to live for much longer. Credit cards: the illusion of wealth. Everything is fabulous and turned to shit. Do you still want to be significant and successful in a corrupt world? Who do you work for, anyway? Twilight: I’m on the subway home, Faces bored and deflated. Work is over for the day. Darkness is dropping the curtain I’m fading into a different version of myself, the night version. Dark in the day, light at night. It’s such a relief when the sun goes down.
After Richard Shelton
Late in the afternoon when the light walks up and leans against me, I stand there like nobody I’ve ever heard of. The poets left town in search of words, while the mountains remained still and the water made thousands of decisions.
About Mary Shanley
Mary Shanley is a poet/storyteller living in New York City. She has had four books of poems and stories published and is a frequent contributor to on-line journals. Mary Shanley was The Featured Poet on WBAI Radio, NYC and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
My fingers lightly brush the rocks below, of covered mosses, green and feathery And through the hills of moss and grasses flow, an endless ripple linked to silver sea. Of birds, their song in every moment sounds, for summer light shines all throughout the eve And if one wants the darkness to surround Behind closed doors is where the shadows live Though close nearby a glacier sits in view– an Ancient carved of ice and cold and dirt And chipped away—a floating berg of blue, on pool of glass filled concave to the earth. Surrounding sits the moss against the stones– how mirrored are they to the glacial bones?
Sonnet of Snow
In whirls the flurries fly to kiss my cheek and on their landing, melt into my skin Their path converges, slipping down my chin, while silence sounds that drowns all words to speak Soft whiteness blankets every Fir and stone, And crystal ice hangs pointed from each rim Then near the haven of a Fraser limb A fairy flits and flutters ‘round pinecone Do eyes deceive? Like snow, my mind seems numb And yet as if to further bend my faith, More kind of fae come dancing through the haze Small wings that shine (beat) and raise a steady thrum The whisper of the snow that first lay still, Grows louder now with fairies’ luring trill
About Ruth Voss
Ruth Voss is currently working towards her BFA at UVU and specializes in the study of biology.
watercolor painting. She is also interested in writing fiction and poetry, and in
I’m not your goddamn sister not part of the ladies who you address in your emails. If you’re asking ladies to arrive at 4, don’t expect me to show up. They/them They/them They/them I’ve told you but you still see me as your sister. I don’t understand your rules. Wear your pin above your heart Dress business casual for meetings Know all the founders by name Regulations in place just because you’re able to have them. The concept I was told of a “low-key” sorority is a goddamn lie. Requirements and Commitments: 10 hours for this, 15 for that Don’t miss more than 2 meetings a quarter Pay $2 when you forget to wear your pin I paid hundreds of dollars to be your “family” Would you not be my Big if I went broke?
Siblings shouldn’t be dependent on cash flow. Am I not your Little anymore? “Don’t talk negatively about Greek Life” Is the board asking me to lie? Everything sucks some of the time, and censorship sucks all of the time. Assaults and coverups, Gropings at parties, being felt up in a crowd as you try to push his hands away and off of your breasts. There’s a reason I stopped going to frat parties after freshman year. It’s fucked up that I still remember the outfit I wore. I imagine myself in court: “Crop-top and no bra: They were asking for it.” No one ever asks for that. I got here by mistake a lack of confidence a moment of insecurity a time where I didn’t know who I was. The death of old friendships can send you into a whirlwind, a tornado spinning and lifting you off the ground Just like Dorothy, I could not find my way back home. Somehow I landed in Oz. a place that has so much potential at first glance: a supportive sorority a community of women in STEM? Yes please. But just like the Wizard, this is all a facade. Why didn’t you just join a panhellenic sorority if that’s what you wanted this to be? The emerald you presented to me is melting
and the yellow bricks have crumbled to dust. I don’t quit. I can’t quit, but somehow, you quit me, allowing me to click my heels three times. I’m no longer in Oz, I’ve been transported somewhere, but I don’t know if that somewhere is home.
Three Headed Beast
I didn’t realize it was emotional abuse until I saw it being done to others until I saw how you lied to #1 while you kissed #2, and in the same night, you put your hand on my thigh. You were a beast with three heads: Three personalities, one for each of us, knowing when to show each face. Contorting your demeanor, discerning when to play each game: one of sex, one of convenience, and one of manipulation, knowing how to play all of them and all of us at once “Send me a photo of you” as if you didn’t know what I looked like Skirts off shirts off because you thought you could have it, twisting me around because you knew you could And that’s the thing, you could. because you saw people— made them into glass figurines, able to see through their skin and
into their souls to pinpoint their every fear, you read into every word I said— creating an image of me that was so lifelike that you didn’t even need me there to know what I’d say You lied to me before you met me, played me like a fool. I was an open book even as texts flew from one country to another, You carefully constructed a facade, pulling from words I’d say to be sure you’d come off as someone I’d like You promised me kisses, kind words, and friendship, You saw my cracks, aiming targets at my weakest places, words like arrows piercing deep, blood flowing over time until you ran me dry until I learned how to cover the wound until I admitted that what you were doing to her was worse than what you were doing to me I needed to save her. I needed for her to save herself. You almost broke me, by words traveling through cables, expressions of false devotion, and lies lies lies In retrospect, I saw how you fooled me, but it was worse to see how you fooled her. I still have photos of bruises on her arms,
a deep scratch in the shape of a heart on her leg, Photos sent days later with the caption “It’s still not completely gone” She’d send me a photo: “#abusiverelationships” A large, dark brown bruise covers her upper arm. If you can’t change it, you joke about it. Maybe that’s why I could justify brushing it off— Because I was alone and she wasn’t I wouldn’t wish the pain of my alienation onto another It’s hard to be in a box where no one understands you, You’re being yelled at in a foreign language; all you need is someone to hold someone to be held by I knew how I longed for that I knew how she had that I knew I couldn’t take it from her even if I knew it would be best. In retrospect it’s so easy to call it abuse because that’s what it was— But I wouldn’t let him pin me against them. He was the monster who slept in all of our closets. He is the one to blame.
About Sam Smiley
Sam Smiley is a writer from Racine, Wisconsin. They currently live in Chic fiction inspired by their experiences in the midwest and abroad. They are n Instagram @wordsflowlikewater.
cago and study physics at DePaul University. Sam writes poetry and short non binary, use they/them pronouns, and can be found on
Inside a book that doesn’t exist, inside the restricted section of the library Is where you’ll find me. Not in the New York times best seller list or on the glossy pages of textbo children I’m a taboo, as real as one can imagine Don’t ask me about my race or sexuality or religion I promise you won’t l Because my lips warn you of all the women I’ve ever kissed My breasts and hips show you how strong I can be My eyes reflect into a past that reminds you There are some stories better left with the dead, Some stories are better left unsaid.
ooks we give small
like the answer.
It Means You
No one in my family cooks. Our kitchen does not over flow with plates of sweet ribs Or steaming mashed potatoes with melted butter and peas. We’d much rather brew over ideas: Across a four-sided table with four hands of cards We intersect between two generations, two races, two religions As smoothly as the railroads and streets that brought us together. My sister the philosopher asks us “What does forever mean to you?” Her questions, our answers, last longer than peach cobbler.
Metal on Metal
I didn’t come to make war, But I want blood. My battalions And troops stand ready on the banks Of the Rhine waiting for the command. Our stalemate has caused the world To shatter. Rome and her children Tumble from the podium we once made Onto the growing pile of casualties. So, we stand facing the ruins on opposite sides. You, with the molten metal eyes and me, with the taste of copper in my mouth watch peace evacuate ground zero.
About Sarah Blair
Sarah Blair is an aspiring student writer who continues to read, write, and slams and open mics.
breathe poetry. She resides in Troy, NY where she participates in spoken word
About Samantha Cabrera
Samantha Cabrera is a writer and artist based in Waco, TX. She lives with her loving husband, Omar, and cow-cat, Mia. She enjoys oil painting realism and impressionism from fleurs to portraits and being able to express feminity and strength.
Thank you for reading. We hope you enjoyed this collection of poetry from these talented poets. You can find more issues of Voice of Eve on our website www.voiceofeve.net or on Issuu. We would also love to hear from you, the reader, at our email address email@example.com. Please join us for the Anniversary issue on August 15th. We will be featuring the winners of the Anniversary contest, and you won’t want to miss it. To see the winning poets you can visit https://www.voiceofeve.net/anniversary-edition.