"Killing Floor" by Amanda Oaks


come     with a mop     of my hair

with a strut     so swank     I lose

my mind     I didn't     want

to find     the bones     you buried
in reason     I get it     I've got

ghosts     caught     in-between
my teeth     I tried     to salt

them out     but my     miswired

head     said     nuh     said bitch

please     what'd you think

you could hide     the blood

on the bottom     of your boots

the cherry prints     they made

all     up & down     his cheeks

when they     fingered     & then

bloodied     his mouth

"The Modus Operandi of Love" by Amanda Oaks


I count them—     one & one & one

apologies     kisses     the puncture wounds

scarred over     on our tongues     from

biting     into them     all the things     that

feel like     lacing up     & tying shoes—

necessary     in holding     the days     our

hearts     our life together     but just tricks

to keep us     from tripping     into every

trivial puddle     or the seawolf’s     mouth

building our future     out of     the stones

we throw     at each other     just means that
when waves     like us     part     the seawall
will already     be     well-stacked     for

or     against us

"Lovesick Origami" by Amanda Oaks


I fold     & unfold     what you said

& what you didn’t     until the pleats

in the paper     catch fire     I am
in love     with my own     longing

a hell so hungry     that it swallows
my entire heart     down its throat

without blinking     so hungry
it almost     seems holy