Why the grass shivers

but a blanket is over our heads over our entire bodies
clothing of warm dirt water green air
and the wind is
giggling
ruffling clothes against body and tickling thread-like
and the playful sun dips in and out of its cotton-thick coverage
warm so that if you closed your eyes you could still feel when the sun
beat down
hard and when it ducked away
the dapples of light on the floor spread out star-like
a gentle fireworks display
as light fades in and out
and on and off through the leaves
rustles not booms or pops

because a sharp cry of agony intrudes from far-off reconstruction
age-soaked benches weep bearing coin-sized insects
a warrior falls
now flightless a beetle crumpled plated in bronze jewel-emerald
though not as emerald as the jigsaw leaves or even mud and
watery shards of grass
shorn brethren dripped in meaningful trails on the concrete smells of
heady suburbia
maybe no meaning after all
sometimes trees peel down all the way through moss and bark
and even trunk to the barest of innards smooth
pale infantile
hums of industry of cars of buildings of conditioning of refuse
drowned
out by the wind
and the wind is
rumbling
picking up through grass leaves and clothes hair threat-like
rustles not booms or pops

Annie Lu was born and raised in Southern California, but she dreams of cooler, cloudier climes. She has won two Gold Keys, one in poetry and one in humor, in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and writes for both her school’s literary and journalistic magazines. She enjoys long walks with her ravenous, rambunctious puppy and writing pieces that other people may never see.

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A CRISIS OF FAITH? INCREASING NUMBERS OF MILLENNIALS IDENTIFY AS “SPIRITUAL BUT NOT RELIGIOUS” OR “UNAFFILIATED”!

Dear chomping chasm,
please help us all

adult sufficiently today.
Dear void of starlight,

please help the young ones
who call this the best

of all dull dystopias. Please
help us face our untreated

second shadows, the monsters
that echo our footsteps

on tile, that hover
there, silent and needing.

Please help our lilac hands
on keyboards produce

something of value. Of value
to someone other than simply

the whirlpool, vacuous
stock exchange. Please save

a little for when we get home;
please help us keep our charge

that long. Please bring dreams
of consequences; help

us be
that brave.

Catherine Kyle is the author of the poetry collection Parallel (Another New Calligraphy, 2017); the poetry chapbooks Gamer: A Role-Playing Poem (dancing girl press, 2015), Flotsam (Etched Press, 2015), and Saint: A Post-Dystopian Hagiography (dancing girl press, forthcoming); and the hybrid-genre collection Feral Domesticity (Robocup Press, 2014). Her website is https://www.catherinebaileykyle.com.

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THIS ONE EASY KEYBOARD SHORTCUT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

We Ctrl+F the bodies
of digital texts: emails,

webpages, Word documents.
We search for what eludes

our eye, the vital characters.
We wish we could Ctrl+F

the bodies of our lovers,
scan them for haecceity,

if such a thing exists. Essential
them-ness, core of their make-

up. Where this might
reside. In lung or spleen

or fingertip. Or nestled under
valve. We wish we could

lift up the tablets, slim screens
drawing in sudden glass glare,

hit the camera button and
on this, hit Ctrl+F. Find

what we are looking for, so
easy now, so clean.

Catherine Kyle is the author of the poetry collection Parallel (Another New Calligraphy, 2017); the poetry chapbooks Gamer: A Role-Playing Poem (dancing girl press, 2015), Flotsam (Etched Press, 2015), and Saint: A Post-Dystopian Hagiography (dancing girl press, forthcoming); and the hybrid-genre collection Feral Domesticity (Robocup Press, 2014). Her website is https://www.catherinebaileykyle.com.

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DNA TESTING HAS NEVER BEEN MORE POPULAR! GET YOUR IN-HOME KIT TODAY.

When you lie here, cat—
            and your whiskers twitch

and your river rock toes
            retract raptor-curved claws

except for the slate crescent
            tips we can see, and your belly

hair rises, polished and warm,
            in a sun slat bounced off of

corporate windows blinking
            across the alley—when you flick

your tail in bounding dreams
            and pivot your ear to the screech

of a starling perched on a
            telephone wire—then we remember

that you are the product of
            everything that came before you: entire

dramas, whole eons of cats, that you
            are what they have led to. Pocket of heritage,

aggregate genes. A datum
            that cannot be stored.

Unpreservable precious thing—
            a thrown arc that cannot be stilled.

Catherine Kyle is the author of the poetry collection Parallel (Another New Calligraphy, 2017); the poetry chapbooks Gamer: A Role-Playing Poem (dancing girl press, 2015), Flotsam (Etched Press, 2015), and Saint: A Post-Dystopian Hagiography (dancing girl press, forthcoming); and the hybrid-genre collection Feral Domesticity (Robocup Press, 2014). Her website is https://www.catherinebaileykyle.com.

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THE WORD OF THE YEAR IS AN EMOJI! THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED!

In 2015, Oxford Dictionaries named the “Face with Tears of Joy” emoji the word of the year, stating that it “best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations” of the time.

We had a feel the other day
and heavens, was it noxious.

We texted each other, I’m
having a feel. It might be more

than one. Feels—the unmitigated
contraptions alarming in

our chests. Red beating
and thundering, cacophony

and surge. We wanted to
do something, say something,

touch something, hold something,
revel embodied. WebMD

says it might be contagious, so please
cover your mouth. Honestly, cover it;

swallow your tongue. We don’t
have time to play counselor. Send us

“Face with Tears of Joy” and
we will send you ours.

Catherine Kyle is the author of the poetry collection Parallel (Another New Calligraphy, 2017); the poetry chapbooks Gamer: A Role-Playing Poem (dancing girl press, 2015), Flotsam (Etched Press, 2015), and Saint: A Post-Dystopian Hagiography (dancing girl press, forthcoming); and the hybrid-genre collection Feral Domesticity (Robocup Press, 2014). Her website is https://www.catherinebaileykyle.com.

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ADD YOUR NAME TO THIS PETITION TO STOP ILLEGAL POACHING.

The thought was
            in the age of the image

these things would not
            continue. In seeing them

we would extinguish them,
            eradicate the ills. Still we sit

by our moms as they weep
            over big game gunned

in awareness videos. Awareness. What
            if we are aware? We are all so very

aware now. What if awareness
            is not the balm? Will never be

the correct salve? We shut
            down the monitor, say,

Don’t worry—maybe it
            was staged.

Catherine Kyle is the author of the poetry collection Parallel (Another New Calligraphy, 2017); the poetry chapbooks Gamer: A Role-Playing Poem (dancing girl press, 2015), Flotsam (Etched Press, 2015), and Saint: A Post-Dystopian Hagiography (dancing girl press, forthcoming); and the hybrid-genre collection Feral Domesticity (Robocup Press, 2014). Her website is https://www.catherinebaileykyle.com.

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RESEARCH SHOWS THE PUBLIC IS DIVIDED OVER WHETHER TO BE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE FUTURE.

How do you combat
            or reform something

of which you are
            a part? How do you aim

for the heart of a thunderous
            titan while gripping its back?

Our dark night drives, our laughter
            out windows are all a part of this.

Our proms and our pets
            and our jeans and our gifts

wrapped in polyethylene. When every
            heroic rope-swing from rafters

lands us right back here? Is this
            a closed circle—an endless hoop smooth

as the insides of keychains we nervously thumb?
            Is our ability to envision something new

dependent on what contact
            lenses we can afford? Tell us, just what

do we bring to a duel
            when the whole room is made of swords?

Catherine Kyle is the author of the poetry collection Parallel (Another New Calligraphy, 2017); the poetry chapbooks Gamer: A Role-Playing Poem (dancing girl press, 2015), Flotsam (Etched Press, 2015), and Saint: A Post-Dystopian Hagiography (dancing girl press, forthcoming); and the hybrid-genre collection Feral Domesticity (Robocup Press, 2014). Her website is https://www.catherinebaileykyle.com.

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