issue 51: threads of before

That Night

- kristine ann gajitos (bio)

under a blanket of stars,
lulled by the susurrus
of the wind-swept sea
I breathed in the salt of your sweat
as you lay beside me

hands clasped on the sand,
heat rose up to my cheeks
your breath tickled my ear
as you nibbled at it
sending shivers down my spine

desire burned in your eyes
scorching me from deep within
I found myself lost in their depths
and as lips touch lips
I am immolated

the heavens burst
but the fires kept burning
defiant I ride, with you as my steed
two souls now entwined
two bodies now tangled

every heave brings more hunger
for the flesh of the other
a thirst that cannot be slaked
even as we drowned
in the flood of passion

as the storm breaks
so does the fever
and we fall upon the sands spent
panting and wet

yet stronger for it.

Just a Drop

- kristine ann gajitos (bio)


Just a drop
On the tip
Of my tongue
To slake the thirst
Slowly killing me


Just a drop
Of coppery blood
From an emaciated wrist
To whet my appetite
For a full life


Just a drop
Of salty tears
Down a brown cheek
To reminisce
Of days long past


Just a drop
Of memory in
An ocean turned
Desert by time
Long forgotten

a reverie

- hannah lee (bio)

i saw you there
golden globes of light
caught in leaves
and my eyelashes
shimmering in your hair
luscious red apples
spilled about your
bare feet
the tree’s hundred green hands
lingering softly on your cheeks
blanket of moss
sighing into your body


- hannah lee (bio)

i love you.
we talk a lot
and i know all the ways in which
my face resembles yours
how our cycles overlap
and an embrace from you
is a moment of a daughter’s restfulness
in her mother’s safe arms,
and i could listen to your stories
and these days, i can hear
your soul growing


i love you, omma,
but do you remember
do you remember, when i was
a dark-shrouded husk,
suspended between tides of
fear and hate?
do you remember, when my heart
shuddered in rapid breaths
when tears and aching were all that
lived in my mind?
do you remember when you said
i’m a retard,
i’ll struggle as an adult,
you want to kill me,
you want to kill yourself
because of me?


it must have been rash words
slipping from the dry mouth of
an exhausted, burdened mother
and i hope i am no longer
a burden, i hope i am
a loving daughter, i hope
i am kind enough, beautiful
enough, sensible enough,
not to make you want
to leave what you have grown

make me this dress

- hannah lee (bio)

light blue closes its eyes
indigo rises from cosmic den
spinning and starry
trees, sinuous black lines
every branch a trembling dark
adorning the brink of night
long, lacing, intersecting

black lines unspool
dyed by midnight
a dark thread
jewels of the universe
caught in each fiber

make me this dress


- anon

as your lips opened again,

i closed my heart,

because i knew,

that you were lying.

end of issue 51. go back to issues page.

the poetry juicebox
an international poetry & art publication
the poetry juicebox