Three Poems by Vanessa Maki

April 4, 2018
Small Fry by Jessica Brown
April 3, 2018
Two Poems by by Ahja Fox
April 5, 2018

some nights

do we have time?

do we have time to float to the bottom of the pool?

i can’t swim but you would hold onto me

like you hold onto me on dry land

i wish the idea of giving in didn’t feel like pulling teeth

& i also wish you would slow dance with me

maybe kill off some of that self control?


some nights we fight til my head starts to ache

some nights we act like we don’t have time

to turn it all around

to turn ourselves inside out

wear our hearts directly on the outside of our chests

deep down

if the walls could speak for us

they would tell us to shut the hell up

no matter where we were

& if we could go back to 15 years old

the walls would say too much

they say that young love never really blossoms

that it never becomes a flower

that it eventually wilts

in our case it grew so much that it took up space

inside our bodies

the leaves wrapped around our lungs

they got embedded in our intestines

& somehow thorns spawned

from poor decisions

they prick our hearts sometimes

& deep down we both like the sting

she couldn’t save herself

she bathed in her pain

then her brown limbs soaked it all up

until it lived under skin

it flowed inside of her

made her feel like

she carried the weight of the world

& she still does

no amount of shedding

learned self hatred

helped her

she tried to save everyone else

yet she just couldn’t save herself


Vanessa Maki is a writer (among other things)  who is queer & full of black girl magic.   She’s been published in Enclave, Faded Out ,Rag Queen Periodical & Occulum. She also founded/runs an online literary journal.