Prometheus Felled | Heather Bourbeau

Image: David Matos

Bristlecone twist upon twist, layer upon layer, like fingers
of the crone or braids of her mother, reaching for the sky.
Cold air, hot sun. High desert survivor

dared erosions and fires, needed only a few small strips
of bark to stay alive, outlive them all.
But 5000 years were undone in one afternoon.

We want to know, to name.
We are Machiavellian in this pursuit.
Prometheus stole fire from the gods, carried it

in giant fennel stalk, gifted it to humans.
For this, he was bound to a rock, his liver to be eagle-eaten
every day, regrow at night and be eaten again.

To understand the brain’s hemispheres, we cut the corpus collosum.
To learn the spread of virus, we cull the herd, open skulls.
To know the oldest, we bored the bark,

failed, then cut and sectioned, hauled and processed.
Counted rings, counted time. Only then did we understand
the ignorance and arrogance.

Still, we kept one slab at Ely casino, then convention center.
Respect reserved for the lab or the field, now national park
in part because scientist-cum-lumberjack pushed

to protect remaining pine, hobble the folly
of men, like him, believing they need to know,
no matter the damnation, no matter the pain.


Heather Bourbeau’s fiction and poetry have been published in 100 Word Story, Alaska Quarterly Review, Cleaver, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Short Édition, The Cardiff Review, and The Stockholm Review of Literature. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she is the winner of La Piccioletta Barca’s inaugural competition and Chapman University Flash Fiction winner. She has worked with various UN agencies, including the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia and UNICEF Somalia.

This piece is a part of South Broadway Press’ March issue, Language of the Earth.

Suburban Garden Evicts Vegetables | Wendy BooydeGraaff

Image: Alexander Sergienko
Peas zigzag through weeds, scaling borage instead of trellis. 
Tomatoes stagnate, grass and clover thrive, tender beets

sprout alongside dandelions tubers. Uprooting one hefty weed 
evicts the fledgling vegetables. It all grows, though the weeds 

grow best. My own roots reach back to clean plow lines and blooming 
rows: eighty acres of fruit farm plus a rectangle of Ontario’s Eden 

beside the old garage: all-you-can-eat green beans, snow peas, cherry 
tomatoes, rhubarb for pie and stewed berries over ice cream.

I grew up knowing a weed is a weed and a plant 
is sacred. Behold my upscaled quagmire—Royal Burgundy Beans, 

rainbow chard, heirloom Spanish radishes, yellow pear tomatoes—
mingled with timothy, dandelion, broadleaf plantain. A feast of colours 

descendant of rain-scented soil spread down a long laced 
table, paired with a leggy wine. Inside, I hear the garden 

call. Dillweed whispers and waves, its delicate imitation 
fern summons rusted canning rings while blue morning 

glories drown everything by mid-August.


Wendy BooydeGraaff’s poems, stories, and essays have been included in Critical Read, Not Very Quiet, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Meniscus, and elsewhere. Originally from Ontario, where she grew up on a fruit farm, she now lives in Michigan suburbia.

This piece is a selection from South Broadway Press’ March issue, Language of the Earth.

Alienor | LindaAnn Lo Schiavo

Image: LindaAnn LoSchiavo

To unobservant eyes they seem like plants.

Long, limber stalks with out-sized bulbous heads
Could be confused with other specimens,
Especially to folks who’ve never seen
Exotics rooted in a foreign pod.

By night they leave protected flowerpots.

Exhaling oxygen, these beings fly,
Determined to reverse what climate change
Eroded by offsetting greenhouse gas
With purifying breaths, restoring trees,
And tackling global warming, ice-shelf melt.

I won’t reveal this methodology.

My job is to provide fresh nutrients ― ―
Ingredients from our rare biosphere.

Then curious balloon contraptions sail
These pods to sites that need repair and care.

Disguised as gladiator allium,
Purple florets compressed inside a round,
Attractive head, the team disperses from
Each stem ― ― a green antenna ― ― gets to work. 

Earthlings don’t know extraterrestrials

Are wise, solution oriented, pained
By man’s destruction, astral gifts blood-stained.


Night winds blow golden over what’s reclaimed
And what’s unfinished. Damaged nature won’t
Regenerate except through tender tips
Renewing fruited plains, life’s green wealth,
’til Earth rejoices in its own undeath.


Native New Yorker LindaAnn LoSchiavo, recently Poetry SuperHighway’s Poet of the Week, is a member of SFPA and The Dramatists Guild. Her poetry collections “Conflicted Excitement” [Red Wolf Editions, 2018], “Concupiscent Consumption” [Red Ferret Press, 2020], and Elgin Award nominee “A Route Obscure and Lonely”‘ [Wapshott Press, 2019] along with a contribution in “Anti-Italianism: Essays on a Prejudice”  [Macmillan in the USA, Aracne Editions in Italy]  are her latest titles.

This piece is part of South Broadway Press’ March 2021 issue, The Language of the Earth.

Editor Interviews | Chloë Thompson


Chloë Thompson is a proto-southern queer poet eating from the hands of her loved ones on the dusty floors of Maryland and in the deep greens of Oregon. She is the author of the self-published poetry collection Badzooka Joe and makes albums. she opens the crypt at LoveSexGodTalk and is the Bean Bag Captain at Open Seas Coffee.

Pardon me for taking your needle, pardon me for threading the needle with your body, pardon me for love, pardon me for I am what I am, and I do not know what this means.

Leonora Carrington

What does this quote mean to you?

I’m deeply religious in the way that I believe in bodies and the unknown, and I’m always looking for works of literature outside the Bible that manage to find a way to make the physical and the disappearing remain prescient. Many different kinds of faith seekers came before me and used their words to explain mystical traditions, selfless acts, and transcendence of the body. Artists like Carrington remind me that all the ideas we have about what words and bodies can do can never be finalized; but instead, constantly create warmth as they remain in a state of continuous germination. The flesh, the word, and knowing need each other. I also just really like this quote because it reminds me of a great drill song called “I Am What I Am” by an incredible Chicago rapper named King Von who was tragically murdered in 2020. This congruency of words, mirroring throughout time, is an essential reminder that all art is atemporal and begins communications within worlds that are not expected to overlap.  

What books have made an important impact on you and why?

I’m going to make this embarrassingly Christian really quick and then get to some “real” books… if I’m going Old Testament, the Book of Ruth. I read this story because it reveals the sanctity of loving whatever kind of mother you got and of sleeping at a lover’s feet. If I’m going New Testament, 1 Corinthians. 1 Corinthians is a sacred text that is part of a huge black intellectual tradition wherein the scope of oppression could be dimmed in comparison to the vastness of love. This letter of the apostle Paul gives me faith in my Blackness because black people have somehow managed to turn a damning letter demanding that believers shore up their spiritual praxis into a love note that requests seeing others as one sees the self. I could fall asleep in this passage, specifically 1 Corinthians 13, and feel like I was floating on a little pink cloud. In fact, I may have had this experience before. In some form.I have been chastised by friends and mentors alike for being a little too into long books by old white men but I aim to be truthful so I will name them here. I am an avid Dostoevsky reader because he taught me that you can lay a world out and tear it down piece by piece if an audience is willing to take the plunge with you. The Brothers Karamazov taught me the beginnings of my faith and began my pursuit of the archetype of the “holy fool”; clueless yet imbued with God’s grace. I think everyone should read Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism (which is by Anonymous, but it’s definitely a white guy) alone with a highlighter and a notebook because it is important to stake out claims for knowledge by yourself, if only sometimes. Anything by Sylvia Wynter or Sianne Ngai carves out the edges of my happy place because I know they both would want me to think fiercely for myself yet in unity with others. And my favorite book ever is Liliane by Ntozake Shange because we speak the same language, plain and simple.

What is the value of writing and art in the current state of the world?

I think for the past 9-10 months the current state of the world for me has solely been writing and art (due to Magickal Negro Dissociation Tactics), in which lies its/their value. Art’s consumption defies the logic of the societal constructions we arbitrarily throw up. And art makes everyone way more humble than anyone presumes they can be. Art is a constant kick-in-the-face that tells you non-stop that everything you think about yourself and the world around you was either told to you or through you. Art itself even defies the logic and constructions we erect around it. I didn’t think that theory could be art until I read The Theory of the Young Girl. I didn’t know that the distance videos my friends send me of their beautiful faces were something so special until I taught myself to recognize that created, captured beauty. The magnitude of appreciating a finely created thing disintegrates a lot of the obstacles between people and refocuses us, if even temporarily, on the magnificence of being. Like, oh wow man, you made this? For that one little moment, I can forget the hyper-technological and violent world we live in. It’s less that I even forgot it and more that I recognize that art creates an itty-bitty new world, which we can choose to live in. Even for 3 seconds. That’s an imagined-future; a created change.

How has writing and art helped to form the person you are today?

I started writing poetry because I needed to make sense of being a freaky black girl around a bunch of hayseeds and rednecks. I made a voice. I didn’t care if my voice sounded like theirs and a million other people(s) just as long as I knew it was uniquely mine. Now I’ve been a lot more places and seen a lot more things and I still run along with the same credos. My voice, if it looks like anything, probably resembles a stalactite. Or a stalagmite. Just a lot of layers of something. Maybe sedimentary rock? I know that knowing that I really wanted to be a person who had something to say was the ember that became a fire in my belly. Now I’m a woman who won’t shut up and I’m really, really proud of that.

What is something that matters to you?

Faith, land, beans, grace, rain, hip-rolling, prayer, divination, the phrase “making love”, humility, radiance, the fusion between earth signs and fire signs, dreaming a little dream, waking up in the morning to another day.

Anything else?

What’s the real difference between esoteric and exoteric? Anybody know?

Editor Interviews | Morgan L. Ventura


Morgan L. Ventura (They/She) is a Sicilian-Irish American expatriate living between Vancouver, Canada, and Oaxaca, Mexico. Originally hailing from the (haunted) Midwest, Ventura was an archaeologist in their former life, but converted to anthropology and folklore only to now become a speculative poet, essayist, translator, and fiction writer. Their poetry and translations have appeared in Strange Horizons, Augur Magazine, and Ghost City Review, among others, while essays can be found in Geist Magazine, Folklore Thursday, and Jadaliyya. Ventura’s poem, “Extinction No. 6,” was nominated for both the Rhysling Award and Canada’s National Magazine Award for Best Poem. Find them on Twitter: @hmorganvl.

If I abandon this project I would be a man without dreams and I don’t want to live like that: I live my life or I end my life with this project.

Werner Herzog

What does this quote mean to you?

I’m a big fan of Werner Herzog, and I realize that people respond to his cinema and writing like marmite: you either hate him or adore him. In order to understand me, you must understand Herzog – what drives his passions is a particular philosophical orientation toward the world that upholds the concept of dreams and dreaming. We may see dreaming as a passive act, or as an action that is often unknown, misunderstood, even irrational, but dreaming is also critical to envisioning new futures, fresh perspectives on not only what the world is but what it could be. Just as I’m nothing without my dreams, a world that’s stopped dreaming would also indicate the end of possibility. 

What books have made an important impact on you and why?

I’ve always been a voracious reader – haven’t we all? It’s a difficult question to answer because I’ve consumed countless books and stories in the form of novels, anthologies, and the internet. As a child, I loved Michael Ende’s the Neverending Story, which is essentially a fabulist story deeply concerned with psychology, self-worth, and corruption. It asks the reader to find themselves in the story, to take charge and become the person they could only dream of, and then presents the classic temptation of pure, unadulterated power. Whereas I was less captivated by the second half of the book and thus the parable, I became obsessed with the idea that a whole other world reflecting our deepest desires and fears could exist, and, even more, would cease to exist when we grew up and began to forget. This is another book – maybe this is a very German way of thinking – that positions dreaming as key to being human, almost critical to our survival. 

On an entirely different (and more recent) note, I always am reading Samantha Irby’s writing because I need that kind of levity (code: give-zero-shits attitude) in my life. If you haven’t read her blog piece on her substack, Bitches Gotta Eat, called “Block People and Pretend They Died,” you absolutely must do that right now. Carmen María Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties left me breathless, and as a survivor of sexual assault, the way she deals with violence is unlike anything I’ve ever read. I finally felt seen and understood after reading Machado. I carry with me a copy of Seamus Heaney’s, Seeing Things (1991), which is both spiritually moving and otherworldly with lyrical verse such as “The stone’s alive with what’s invisible…”. But my favorite collection of poetry right now is If All the World and Love Were Young, by Stephen Sexton. I picked up a copy while visiting Belfast, Northern Ireland, and it’s just the most astounding, tender, and luminous chapbook I’ve ever read. Wrestling with the grief of losing his mother, Sexton wrote a series of elegiac poems channeled through Super Mario World. Read it. 

What is the value of writing and art in the current state of the world?

Creativity is priceless, which is to say it is incompatible with the society we live in. The world is more or less stuck within the confines of an unbridled capitalistic system where any act of production carries a price-tag so that it can be exchanged and consumed. Art and the act of writing carry an intrinsic symbolic value – they exist, I believe, to not only bring beauty and illumination to society as we know it, but they’re also powerful tools of transformation. Ritual acts of creativity, art and creative writing helps us imagine new ways of existing. Without either, we would never be able to address structural and systemic problems, and on a less tangible level, we wouldn’t be able to nourish the emotional and spiritual dimensions of being human. If I could change how writing and art were received by other facets of society, writers and artists would be salaried, supported unconditionally with universal income because without us the world would be painfully dull. Try to imagine a day without music, without photography and drawing, poems, stories, films, and television. 

How has writing and art helped to form the person you are today?

Writing and art helped me survive an inordinate amount of trauma. It’s helped me process and imagine other lives, other worlds. I find a lot of power in speculation, which allows me to put distance between myself and open wounds. Writing poetry and stories has strengthened me, it’s reshaped me and helped me realize that the answers to my questions don’t reside in the academy but rather through the twinned acts of creation and reception. 

What is something that matters to you?

Justice. Justice means a lot to me. Many of my poems – whether they be lamentations, requiems, or elegies – they all explore grief by interrogating the notion of justice. I’m not sure if justice can ever be achieved here, in this world, but I’m interested in what we call the three R’s in anthropology and archaeology: repatriation, restitution, and reparations. Some collectives speak of restorative justice, and I like this term, too. Art can be a powerful intervention, and creative acts – essays, poems, and most science-fiction – are often positioned as sociopolitical commentary. And while I find a lot of value in crafting narratives that eviscerate the current structures-that-be, I am actively engaged in projects of repatriation and restorative justice. One project, stemming from my doctoral fieldwork and co-directed with a friend of mine from Mexico City, returns the ethnographic fieldnotes of an anthropologist from the 1930s to the Indigenous community in Oaxaca where this anthropologist spent several years conducting research. She’d never translated or shared her work with the community, and so I saw repatriation and translation of these documents in Spanish and Zapotec as a mode of justice and way of correcting historical power asymmetries. The archive will now exist on a community curated website; after more than 80 years, they’ll control the narratives and have their history present to share however and whenever they like. 

Anything else?

I love sunflowers and cats, I watch the Mummy (1999) annually, and not-so-secretly enjoy Italodisco and dream pop.

Editor Interviews | Brice Maiurro


Brice Maiurro (he/him) is a poet from Earth. His work has been compiled into two collections, Stupid Flowers and Hero Victim Villain. He has been featured by The Denver Post, Boulder Weekly, Suspect Press, and Poets Reading the News. www.maiurro.co

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

John Lennon

What does this quote mean to you?

I think about this quote just about every day of my life. It’s so easy to get swept up in any moment into what seems so important, while those little things fly on by. Recently, I took care of a dog, a great dog, Garbanzo, while my friends were in the process of moving. I’ve never had a dog, I grew up with cats, and I was very excited. I felt like a little kid the whole time, taking him on walks, chasing him (or having him chase me) around the house, taking weekend naps curled up beside him, it was amazing. I work from home like a lot of us and analyzing business processes for a solar company felt really important until I’d look over and see Garbanzo, belly up, requesting a few good belly pats. Every day at work I told myself there was no time for me to go on a walk, but when I was watching Garbanzo, I was outside, bundled-up, several times a day and I was so happy about it.

What books have made an important impact on you and why?

Radical Dharma by Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens and Jamine Syedullah. Since I was maybe 22, the ideologies of Buddhism have always resonated with. I was raised Catholic and that didn’t stick, but Buddhism has always made sense to me. It’s a religion, or ideology, built around intentionality and compassion. There’s a lot of wiggle room to find your own way within the forests it offers you. Especially something like Zen Buddhism, that often has an attitude of “always do this… unless it doesn’t work for you!” I appreciate the grey space, but found myself plateauing in my Buddhism over the last couple years, as with American Buddhism comes a lot of white people feeling kind sitting on a yoga mat while there’s big revolutions going on outside of its doors. Radical Dharma busted open those doors for me and showed me this new beautiful intersection of anti-racism with queerness with Buddhism. That you have to take your Buddhism practice into dismantling it all.

Lama Rod’s experiences of rejecting his Christian roots really resonated with me. He found he had a lot of anger, but opted to say “this isn’t for me” rather than “let’s burn this to the ground.” Rev. angel reminded me the ideas of existing in a state of not having all the answers, and expanded my ideas of queerness beyond gender and sexuality into a larger realm of seeing how binary thinking is so pervasive in the smallest microcosms of our culture to the very large interlocking systems of oppression that we should collectively disrupt and transition to a better place. Radical Dharma reminded me that our liberation is a collective liberation and we all have to use the tools we’ve been given to work together.

What is the value of writing and art in the current state of the world?

I see it all as storytelling. In many ways, we all exist in silos. Storytelling is a way to peek into someone else’s silo, maybe inch their silo a little bit closer to our own. Storytelling can be a time capsule, it can be an exercise in compassion and solidarity, and I believe with the right considerations in place, it can be a therapy.

How has writing and art helped to form the person you are today?

I discovered poetry almost on accident. I just was bored and found myself messing around with words. The words led to more words, which led to poetry events, which led to a larger, though far from holistic, understanding of Denver’s communities, and through all of that, I’ve been able to teach things with my words, but what I love maybe more is being the student. I’m very blessed, in considering all my privilege, that for years I’ve had the chance to be exposed to the writing and art of so many people unlike myself. That continues to challenge me.

As for my writing now, writing is best for me when it’s fun. When I’m having fun, I feel like I’m doing something well.

What is something that matters to you?

Kindness matters to me. Small gestures that set the tone of the world we deserve to gift each other. Goofiness is a virtue of mine, sincerity. Cooking matters to me. I love that cooking offers me this chance to spend time by myself in the kitchen, and then share the rewards of that time with the people near and dear to my heart. My partner, Shelsea Ochoa, matters to me. She challenges me to do more and be more, and especially to be myself more.

Editor Interview | Huascar Medina


Huascar Medina, Poet Laureate of Kansas (2019-2021), is the Lit Editor for seveneightfive magazine and an Op-Ed writer for Kansas Reflector.  He’s published two collections of poetry Un Mango Grows in Kansas (2020) and How to Hang the Moon (2017). His words have appeared in The New York Times, Latino Book Review and elsewhere.

It is what it is.

Unknown

What does this quote mean to you?

A constant reminder that at the end of the day the universe will always have the last word.

What books have made an important impact on you and why?

“A Separate Peace” by John Knowles. At a young age, I learned that rivalry is the ego at war with itself.

What is the value of writing and art in the current state of the world?

I commend creatives who expend so much energy trying to add light. When hope is a scarcity their work naturally intensifies. They shine a bit more through the darkness.  I view this abundance of output as a vigil for opportunity. A chance to see things in a new light —a beacon.  

How has writing and art helped to form the person you are today?

Poetry is a lens I apply outward and inward to observe, explore, evaluate, document and admire life. I am more aware with poetry.

What is something that matters to you?

My family, love, being kind, truth, equality and compassion. Being supportive of creatives. Finding/creating and accepting peace. Words.

Editor Interview | Erica Hoffmeister

Erica Hoffmeister was born and raised in the fragrant orange groves of Southern California, but has been chasing that elusive concept of home since she witnessed the vast, east Texan sky bloom on her first cross-country road trip at the age of seven. She now lives in Denver, where she teaches college writing and advocates for media literacy and digital citizenship. She is the author of two poetry collections: Lived in Bars (Stubborn Mule Press, 2019), and Roots Grew Wild (Kingdoms in the Wild Press, 2019), but considers herself a cross-genre writer and has a variety of work published in several journals and magazines. Learn more at: http://www.ericahoffmeister.com/

With all due respect, I’m not the one hanging off of the back of a ship here.

Jack Dawson, Titanic

What does this quote mean to you?

My undying love for Jack Dawson is not something to take lightly. So, let’s just start there: reading into Titanic quotes until you have some sort of identity crisis. Trust me—it’s kinda fun.

What books have made an important impact on you and why?

I’d love to make a long list of impressive poets and writers that have impacted the world in an important way, that we should all read and cry and joy over. But honestly, sometimes I feel like those lists are often just used to frame one’s writer ego. Kind of like the guy at the back of the venue that only listens to the most obscure bands. So, if I’m being honest, my list of most impactful books to me are probably not very impressive. I’m a simple girl. I like to read to escape. I read the Harry Potter series for the first time at age 25 and it changed my life. Before that, I basically only read anything about Paris because I’m a total Francophile – my favorite being Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore. In grad school, reading War & Peace felt like the biggest accomplishment of my life, and was one of the most beautiful escapes I’d ever experienced. I took Into the Wild so seriously after one read, that I dropped out of school and hit the road for 6 months until I ran out of money somewhere in Kansas City. I can’t keep a copy of Prozac Nation on my shelf because I always end up giving it away to someone who needs it. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly remains my favorite book of all time, despite being written for eleven year old’s. I still cry my eyes out each and every time I re-read Cold Mountain. I had kids specifically so I could pass down my first edition Hardy Boys books to them. And yes, I own Twilight. What can I say? I just want an adventure and a good cry.

What is the value of writing and art in the current state of the world?

It is of the most value fathomable! The arts are our single most important tool for connection—to each other, the earth, our existence. For revolution, for joy. The world would be a better place if we could all just read and write and create and listen and love within our communities. The more we can inject our lives with spaces for art and creation, the better chance we have at surviving human beings’ imminent self-destruction. Or at least be able to enjoy the apocalypse with good books and a badass soundtrack. 

How has writing and art helped to form the person you are today?

You can’t disconnect writing and art from my identity. I don’t have memory that exists before I read and wrote stories. Books, music, movies—through these lenses are how I understand meaning in living. I simply can’t imagine me as a person without the conglomeration of created works of all artistic genres that live and breathe inside me. I basically contain a vast universe of song lyrics, film trivia, and sad poems all wrapped up in musty old pages of books.

What is something that matters to you?

Revolution! Words, art, movement, food, water, travel…literally all facets of society can—and should be—revolutionary. I try to live in a way that actively interrogates social norms—especially within the framework of American exceptionalism that the entire globe has suffered because of—and try to advocate for and alongside my community in ways that seek radical change for the better. As an educator, I prioritize digital and media literacy at the forefront of the people I have the most access to—my students—in hopes to build a generation of learners who understand the importance of free and true exchange of information. As a member of my community, I am politically active and am a member of the abolition group for Denver’s DSA organization. As a writer, I aim to use my tools and talent as a voice for trauma healing through art and writing. As an Aquarian, this is just how the blood runs through my body—radical rebellion following the winds of change, always.

Anything else you’d like people to know?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the greatest television show that has ever existed. Fight me. 

Second Surface | Amanda EK + Jesse Livingston


Glass Cactus is a Denver-based screenwriting and filmmaking team – Amanda E.K. and Jesse Livingston – currently pitching TV pilots and creating surreal short films.

Amanda is a queer writer, filmmaker and writing coach, and the former editor-in-chief of Denver, Colorado’s Suspect Press. She writes for Playlove and Out Front Magazine, teaches a weekly drop-in writing class, and she’s currently pitching her memoir about growing up in fundamentalist purity culture. Follow her on IG @amanda.ek.writer.

Jesse is an author and musician from Denver, CO. In addition to writing non-fiction articles for local and national publications, his fiction has appeared in audio magazines such as Pseudopod and The Drabblecast and in print venues like Suspect Press and Speculative City. In 2019 Jesse wrote and directed his first film, the Lovecraft-inspired horror thriller The Blue Room.

Together Jesse and Amanda have written a TV pilot called Hazelwood about a small-town musician searching for a collection of his vanished mentor’s mysterious paintings. The screenplay was a Second Rounder at the 2020 Austin Film Fest.
Second Surface is their first filmmaking collaboration.

Four Poems | Margarita Serafimova

Image: Paweł Czerwiński


The Witnesses

We were observing ourselves colliding
with ourselves as if in a dream,
as if on a king’s road,
with horses, with dogs, with spears,
the air tinted in red,
the age-old branches between us and the hidden stars.
We were keeping a record of proceedings.


Underneath the skin, upon which the devastating battle for tenderness
is being played out,
there is a cocoon.
In a cocoon of blood,
I am bathing –
a red egg,
a red butterfly –
in full safety
behind the curtains of the bloodfall.


Yes, I brought my shield down.
My breasts were bared, elongated.
Around my ankles, there was dust.


The roads wept.
I gave them my eyes.


Margarita Serafimova is the winner of the 2020 Tony Quagliano/ Hawai’i Council for the Humanities International Poetry Award, a 2020 Pushcart nominee and a finalist in nine other U.S. and international poetry contests. She has four collections in Bulgarian and a chapbook, “A Surgery of A Star” (Staring Problem Press, CA: https://bit.ly/3jDU793). Her digital chapbook, ‘Еn-tîm’ (Wilderness), is forthcoming by the San Francisco University Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange in 2021. A full-length collection, ‘A White Boat and Foam’, is to be published by Interstellar Flight Press in 2022. Her work appears widely, including at Nashville Review, LIT, Agenda Poetry, Poetry South, Botticelli, London Grip, Steam Ticket, Waxwing, A-Minor, Trafika Europe, Noble/ Gas, Obra/ Artifact, Great Weather for Media, Origins, Nixes Mate. Visit: shorturl.at/dgpzC.