Special Collections Stacks so dark I hold up a light to each spine, running my fingers along worn stitching to find the one you need in this preservation so lost it’s home to more critters than researchers too curious for the overworld—but don’t scare, my little mouse; when we find it, you’ll bring it to life for me, we’ll burrow in some corner study room with a fluorescent light flickering above a metal desk & magnets of words on the wall that someone has arranged into a cheesy love poem. You squint at a dusty row, your brown eyes a little blue in the light from your cracked phone screen, the flashlight busted from one too many drops, & I keep wishing it would die so you’d make your own glow from your warm hands. Your ruffled brow, creased lips, hair falling into your eyes— you look so lost & cute like the day you stumbled through fiction & found me reading to kids, said we should try it together, how you do the best monster voice, & I wondered why you wanted to dive-bomb my sanctuary with all its candles balanced in little pyramids. Let’s pretend we didn’t see that spider, we didn’t hold each other tight for a second of shock. You can’t see my cheeks in the dark. But still I imagine yours. I’ll find that book, even if I’m in so deep I forget, stop caring if it’s day or dusk, & dim-eyed, I too become creature. Run your finger along my spine—let me hear your monster voice. for & after Dana Terrace
Moon Dance How, as your small hands spin me, did I once conjure you in shadow—how our skirt tails sing while behind us the waves of the sea lap to the beat of our shoes on stony moonlight— how did I fear you’d fade, fold to the size of my mind’s little eye & pull me in two, tear your name from my body like a letter ripped at its fold, the beloved’s name ending in a comma, when all along you were catching me in your arms, your dark eyes, dipping me inches from the hopeless dumb things I used to believe but holding me tight as I’d grieve & atone, kneeling beside me in mud under night trees & vowing to keep me safe as I fight back tears & a smile for the spider you can’t see in your hair, a smile for hopeless dumb promises, yet still you keep them; even now, with your hair slicked back & that dumb little eyebrow grin, you bring it all home, bring me home, so let’s finish this dance like a fight, not a duel—I’m on your side, on your beat, your start & full stop, spin & dip, on your lead, body & moonbeams. for & after Dana Terrace
Beeper Peddle is a writer and healer living on the East Coast. She lives with her partner and their beloved soul puppy. Beeper writes about sorrows, lies, and deep loves. When you read her work, you will dip down into her heart and end up in all manner of body parts. Should you find yourself reflected in these words, it is merely coincidence; however, it does not surprise her you share the same heart. Find her at bethpeddle.com and @beeperpeddle on Twitter and Instagram
T. Dallas Saylor (he/they) is a PhD candidate in poetry at Florida State University, and he holds an MFA from the University of Houston. His work meditates on the body, especially gender and sexuality, against physical, spiritual, and digital landscapes. His poetry has been featured in Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Colorado Review, Christianity & Literature, PRISM international, and elsewhere. He currently lives in Denver, CO. He is on Twitter: @dallas_saylor.