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On the Cover: Pin-Up Girl Angela Ryan Kara Walker Art Critique by Solange James Mod Style: Ready, Steady, Go! Photography: Nicholas Routzen

Poetry by Melissa Hansen

Melissa Hansen lives in San Francisco where she writes, works at public libraries as a civil servant, and co-edits poetry for The Guild of Outsider Writers. She has published and forthcoming work in various literary zines. You can visit her at www.myspace.com/quicksecret.

The Watchmen
I see myself
across the night
above a blood
tinged silver sky
a man with hands
and vacant fangs
takes me down
and back again

He puts it in
my swollen lips

I beg him once to
stain my skin

He speaks to me
in opium

He slaps my cheek
dripping on my
satin teeth

My blood
it singes
swirling bright
shiny demon
of my night

I see myself
across the sky
I am the light
a silver sigh


That's a Nice Cage
I grabbed her ankles
careless currents shifted
the stillness
into an end

I stood up with a pinch that reddened her thigh
Leave me warm and pink to die


This Ugly Trace
I don’t know quite
it is.

I think it
and twisted
like women
robbed of
their skin
red muscle.

And I think it would
end soon
but I’m not going to bother.


when I am a woman
I hear the bells

the tolls the tales
of ancient spells

the slight of hand
and threadbare streets

of mangled hands
and strangled teeth

I have no meaning
and ravenous sleep

I kiss my husband
on bended knee

I drink his smell
and crush his wounds

I lick his belly
I fry his food

I want his love
like no other man

I pray at god
for the master plan

I bleed and talk
of rapture old

my ears ring harsh
as days unfold

when I am a woman
I hear the bells

the tolls the tales

of ancient spells.

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