Monday, May 9, 2022



a lake of a window
whited out by the finishing
December        coming out the rear
of the worst blizzard to drop
by the east coast in years         the yawning
door     a snare of a mouth        collecting
lookers like the white gunks
at the corners of lips     becoming
spectacle in a paper gown
the gauzy shade of a dollar store
shower curtain              so many priests
in white robes charging in to format
my sins            chart them        take my
confession with my temperature
Were you trying to hurt yourself?
Why were you trying to hurt yourself?

ritualized         the thwack of a stethoscope
urgent against my rib cage and the throbbing
underneath       systematized     the chatty
machine and its long-winded
appendages     see-through and skeletal
and plastic      holding my hands and arms
at needlepoint             the itch on the belly
side of my palms        the tickle on the inside
of my elbow I am forbidden
to scratch or bend and the wail
of the machine when I do
the light and loose kind of faded
my mind is      the brilliant anger
bringing me back to my own body
the aching       unsoothable       the pressing
hard on my chest to find it
smell it like you touch the back
of your ear and smell it
the filmy afterbirth of grief        and I
right on the rim of dissolve



Samantha Samakande is a Zimbabwean poet currently based out of Bloomfield, New Jersey, where she resides with her husband. She is a graduate of Allegheny College and is a junior editor for F(r)iction. It is her lived experience as an immigrant that made her a poet, an observer, and a daughter of many tongues and in-betweens. Her work has appeared in Pif Magazine, Hobart, and Gordon Square Review. In 2020, she was the second-place winner of Frontier Poetry’s Award for New Poets.


We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.