surrogate with chicory for bones

pickled onions in the cabinet
little tongs of plush

fish meat washed in brine
clementines just for the peel
i save the jars


smoking in
the shower your fingers
with seedling
baby carrot turning
to vapor or
vapid color
or relief


nonexistence when we both
dip a breadstick in
grease & our unrequited
touch tips the
mess into gold


taboo when i said
the maple tree out
front couldn’t hold another
dead parent
crinkled wrappers of
branches midsummer
taboo when
i told you
it has to die too
you know 

garage remodel. bent table saw. dust.

my father’s fist episodic, replacement for hammer or sledge. drywall augured like ice, faint slice from utility knife, but not dagger. he clogs the yellowed advil bottle of drill bits again. exposed

insulation, brain tissue, shims where the wasps can’t crawl in. the ryobi stares at the movement in the cabinet wood, swash of ghost, trying to find fog with cataracts. he could hide himself

behind the garage walls. or more walls. the need for reading glasses to see the snapline, blue like stitched skin. after his aneurysm, he could forget anything he wanted. but not the rivers in the  

cedar, the plaster. not those, the shape of lost fingers. the kinds of tributaries that flow & then don’t. the rivers without any ocean to inherit. the kind that just end.

Photo by Ehud Neuhaus on Unsplash.

Liam Strong

When they aren’t searching for rare punk cassettes, Liam Strong (they/them) often wonders how to next queer classical philosophy and linguistics in new poems and prose. Previously nominated for both Pushcart and Best of the Net awards, they are a queer neurodivergent cottagecore straight edge punk writer who has earned their B.A. in writing from University of Wisconsin-Superior, from which they have received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). They have served as Chapbook Coordinator for Michigan Writers Cooperative Press (MWCP) and former editor of NMC Magazine. You can find Liam’s poetry and essays in Impossible Archetype, Ghost Proposal, and Emerald City, among several others. Their first chapbook, Everyone's Left the Hometown Show, was published by Bottlecap Press (2023). They are most likely gardening and listening to Bitter Truth somewhere in Northern Michigan. If you ever see Liam in the wild, don’t ask them about losing their shoes during Sorority Noise’s last Michigan show. They’ll never shut up. Find them on Instagram and Twitter.