“and even you forgot those brilliant flashes seen from afar” -Ruth Stone

from Green Knife

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Girls in green pinafores and sneakers

gather between tables to exchange patience
in order to prioritize my experience

one wore metallic loafers
she wanted a Red Bull, she was dying inside

and I wonder should I pay for art today?

already I have observed through a cut diamond
the blurred silhouette of a woman next to a stereo

I pressed my own shape against a cold museum
comparing my figure to a falling staircase

now the man beside me on his phone wants to know
was it the best masseuse in the world?

he is checking the competition
he is comparing rates

he waits for my table while I pay for some water

from Green Knife

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It’s not that you can get away

from the suffering
it’s just that there are endless combinations

at the poetry buffet I hear a girl say
I’ve been at home mostly

trying to figure out how to get through
the next few years

someone else says the brighter it is
the darker it gets to no one then laughs

and orders a second soup
while across the street

“Just Salad” stares sadly at me
bright and empty despite the dark

bins of lettuce lining its walls
I eat a very hot soup

that makes my head spin
my lips swell

is it for pleasure or pain
he ate things still alive

on his tongue when he swallowed
you might not have known

how I fell in love with his whip
which I could not use properly

except to turn against myself
now a vestige of a girl in camouflage

squints back at me through the glass
no I guess she is glaring

at my soup

from Green Knife

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I smelled my dinner before I saw it

an onion with a chestnut
flower in the center

gluten free of course
it was fabulous

the onion master
is a kind of game

made to look like an art installation
made to look like a game

the claw is giant it grabs easily
any onion

from the pile moves it around
then drops it

repeating this task with the other onions
a crowd might look on and wonder

how anything is won
in this way

and in this way
everything goes on

rotting inside a glass case

Appears in this issue

 Stella Corso is the author of Green Knife (Rescue Press, 2023) and TANTRUM (Rescue Press, 2017).

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