She is an owl-eyed hourglass,

outraged and out

reaching for something

as alive as she is.

Or at least that familiar feeling

akin to death’s breath

on the back of her neck.

Venomous vigor envelopes her voice:

a tree whose fruit stains the mouth black

like oil sipped from a wine glass.


That pet whose leash

is melted to her wrist, a game that

bores the vampires hiding in her words:

those who draw upon a man-made eternity

no more steadfast than a

castle of sand.

Let her find some pulse

as furious and desperate as her own.

Let her spill away with someone

as she has tried to all her life.


Charlie Mischer, USA


Just for a moment,

let’s pretend that

we are clocks on the wall

of our own house.


feel the wood exhale.

hear the carcasses of leaves trickling.

count footprints collecting on the front porch.

watch the animals in their lonely daze.

see if you can make out

those little heartbeats

I thought had long since stilled.

the ones that helped me sleep

when I was young.

stare with me at pictures

we pretend don’t exist.

I’ve gotten a little too good

at questioning


and I’m happy to hang here,



and we are separate

and our hands are not for holding

and we have no choice but to let go of

every single thing that happens.


but I am not a clock

and yet I still can’t seem

to hold on to

any of you.


Charlie Mischer, USA


you are sitting at the window

at room temperature

building dams out of dust that

clung to our shoes.


I am a child with a cigarette

I am drawing poison from the sky.

stop me.

shake me clean.




ten years have passed since four pm.

there was a skeleton dream in the works.

and all I wanted was to

be stones on the bluff

somewhere with a view.

but this carpet is a desert and we’re sick

of our feet burning



you are sitting at the window

and I am swelling and shrinking like

waves dying on the shoreline

and our apartment is a cubicle

I’ve always known.


Charlie Mischer, USA