Snapped by Jennifer Patino

Punk Noir Magazine

Hey, Google. How long does it take for a person to bleed out from a knife wound?”

It depends. Is the injured party screaming, or no?”

*

Jay is cradling his innards, shuffling toward me and I think about running.

*

I ran the last time he needed my help. That was in eighth grade and I was only running because everyone else was. Through a part in the crowd I saw the extra tall boy who threatened Jay’s life every day in fifth period, lying on the concrete and bleeding from his face. Some girls were crying so I thought the boy was dead.

Jay was in a corner nearby. He too was lying on the ground, but his hands were being zip tied behind his back by a school administrator. A pair of bloody brass knuckles was wrapped around one of those hands.

My whole crew got suspended for two weeks. They all played a part in the scare tactic gone wrong. They only wanted to shake him up. Get him to leave Jay alone. My best friend had a locker full of weapons, one of them being a lead pipe. They were all honor roll kids. They didn’t want to involve me because I was the innocent one, the tiny one, the baby. Plus, my parents were the most likely to murder me for getting into trouble.

Jay was sent to the “bad kids” school. Jay was put on Lithium. Jay didn’t talk to me for six months and I was too afraid to admit I missed him. I didn’t condone what he did but I thought I understood why he did it. The tall boy, Watson, had a bad concussion and needed stitches but he was going to be just fine.

*

“I just snapped,” Jay said over the phone six months later. His father’s name flashed across my parents’ caller ID and my heart froze. I remembered that Mike Tyson said the exact same thing when he bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear. I believed that snapping could happen. I saw it happen in real life with my own too young eyes many times. It was something both men and women did. Intuitively, I knew it would happen to me someday too. I wasn’t afraid of the violence I knew I was capable of, I just wondered what would finally drive me to act upon it.

*

Another boy named Dan who lived on my street went to the “bad kids” school with Jay. These kids rode a bus home that arrived five minutes after the “regular kids” school bus. One day it got there early, so our buses arrived at the stop at the same time.

A maniacal voice screamed my name. It was Jay, hanging out the bus window. His hand was reaching for mine. I stood on my tiptoes to grasp it. The bus driver was screaming at him to get back inside.

“Write me a letter! Give it to Dan!” Jay yelled.

“Back up, little girl!” the bus driver yelled at me.

*

Jay called that night to tell me Dan could be trusted. We passed love notes back and forth through him. We talked on the phone long past phone curfew. Eventually we took our relationship to AIM messenger boxes. Then one day near the end of ninth grade he told me in a low voice that his family was moving to another state.

Our correspondence continued. We could make long distance love work. Our love was strong and even though my mother warned me about “psycho boys” I hid the letters from her and didn’t listen.

When we were sixteen, he called to tell me he had a girlfriend and that he was so sorry. “You’re still my best friend,” he said. “Please don’t stop writing me letters.”

I didn’t even when he did. Then two years later I decided to stop torturing myself. I sent a goodbye note and sealed it with a tear stained cotton candy Lip Smacker kiss.

*

Jay and I are 21 now and he’s paler than ever under the streetlights. We’re both single. He called last month to tell me he’d be back in town and that he desperately wanted to see me. I bought a new dress because I’m that kind of hopeful romantic girl.

It’s just after sundown and I’m staring at his bleeding torso.

“Watson–” he mutters when he falls into my arms. “He gutted me.”

“What?” I don’t know what to do other than take off my sweater to try and stop the bleeding. I also have to keep telling myself not to pass out or panic.

“After all these years, he still held it against me.” Jay coughs and a trail of blood trickles out of the corner of his mouth.

“You got a cigarette?” he asks.

“You can’t smoke now.”

“Like hell I can’t.”

It’s a Bogart and Bacall moment. I light the cigarette for him and he smokes it shakily.

“I’m calling 911,” I say when I spot a pay phone to use because neither of us are cool enough to own cell phones.

“Don’t. I need you here.”

“I’m not going to let you die,” I say. “Hold this here and I’ll be right back.”

I run and do what’s necessary and in thirty five minutes I’m using the same pay phone to call my mother to pick me up after an ambulance has transported Jay away to the nearest hospital. I’ve also convinced the police that showed up that I had no idea what happened but that Jay mentioned Watson’s name.

I’m covered in Jay’s blood and all my mother can do is scold me not to get her van all messed up and say, “I warned you about those psycho boys.”

*

Jay succumbs to an infection from the knife wound three days later. His parents let me visit the day before he dies. He isn’t conscious but I finally tell him I love him anyway.

“I just snapped,” Watson tells the courtroom during his trial. Trauma does things to people. Trauma causes grudges we don’t even know exist.

Watson happened to be walking to the park that night on a drug run. He saw Jay and knew he was going to stab him. He knew he had the knife in his pocket for that reason. He said that for years every time he got a headache he would think of Jay. “It’s like it was…destiny…or something.”

*

I think of Jay now too when I get really bad sinus headaches. It’s a Spring thing and Jay left this earth during the Spring. The new life, the heat, the flowers, the vibe–it all makes me sick with grief.

I get offered a job as a nanny for a single mother with twin six year olds four years after he died. She’s got a bed of snapdragons in her yard.

“Aren’t they beautiful?” Her smile is too wide. I nod in faux agreement.

I decline the job but later that night I sneak into her yard and stomp the shit out of all those flowers. I don’t feel better though. I probably never will.

Jennifer Patino is an LCO Ojibwe poet residing in Las Vegas. She has had work published both online and in print with publications such as The Ginger Collect, Half Mystic Press, L’Éphémère Review, A Cornered Gurl, Font Magazine, The Chamber Magazine, Briefly Write, and Door is A Jar. She is also a regular contributor to Fevers of the Mind. You can visit her blog at www.thistlethoughts.com.

USED PANTIES by Anthony Neil Smith

Punk Noir Magazine

USED PANTIES

 

Posted on E***.**m, May 18th, 2021, by MistressDoneWithYou.

USED PANTIES – $98.00

This is a high-quality pair of women’s silk underwear from a high-end shop (you know the one. Shh!) I am selling to one lucky buyer out there. Not only will I wear this for you all day at my job as a Liberal Arts Dean at a very selective private Christian university, during which I will sit through a dizzying number of meetings with other administrators spouting jargon (“synergy,” “goals-based equity realignment,” and “F2F qualitative assessment”), meaning we should have another meeting later to talk about the same thing but never actually move past reports saying there’s a need for more study.

Those meetings can be awfully steamy as I rub my thighs together under my dress from 7:45 to 4:45, with a break for lunch, some personal meetings with department chairs, aggrieved faculty members, and occasionally students with complaints that usually turn out to be their own damned faults.

Once the working day is through, I will continue to wear these panties as I head home, kick off my shoes, relax, then later murder my boyfriend for leaving me to go back to his wife. 

It’s complicated. I’m married, too, but we had hit the wall. Our sons are both in college, and we hardly see them. It’s just me and my unemployed husband, who daydreams about starting get-rich-quick businesses instead of looking for a job in his field – insurance. Once I became a dean, I started making more money than him anyway, so I can laugh at the pre-nup I signed when I was young, in love, and stringing together adjunct classes to teach. He didn’t expect that, nope. He’s been out of work for two years now. One of his “business” ideas inolved, you guessed it, selling my used panties online. 

Why would I do that, though? Why would I wear these silky, dainty panties all day, sweating and fantasizing, only to hand them over to him for half the profit?

As you can see from the photo, they are lacy, skimpy, and violet, stretched across my thick hips. I am no stick-thin model, not at my age, but curves are sexy. You know that already, don’t you, gentlemen? That’s why you’re here reading this.

My marriage was falling apart, my body was desperate for passion, when in walked Giancarlo. Five foot ten, all thatmuscle in a tight frame, with midnight dark hair and olive skin – third generation Italian-American. Born and raised in New Jersey, joined the Army at eighteen, two tours in Afghanistan, and now looking to make a new life for himself outside of the military. 

He had moved to Iowa for a girl, a pen pal from the war, and now they had a baby together. 

But I’m getting ahead of myself. He was kind, polite, and it stung when he called me, “ma’am” because I was fourteen years older than him. He was blue collar – jeans and a trucker hat, work boots. Didn’t shave often. He awakened something in me. If only I had sold that pair of panties – I couldn’t stop thinking about him after we discussed his financial needs to pursue a degree in missions ministry. 

Now, while I may be a Dean at a Christian University, it’snot because I’m a good Christian. My husband is agnostic at best, and I exaggerated my Methodist upbringing to secure the job. I just wanted to be an administrator, but couldn’t get a job with secular schools. So while Giancarlo talked about his callingto one day go to India or China as a missionary, I was flirting my ass off. It took effort. My blonde hair was going gray, and I knew my skin and tits and ass had been stretched by gravity – not that any of that matters when there’s plenty of gas left in the tank. Trust me, I knew how to light it up. I smiled. I kept eye contact. I nibbled my bottom lip when I told a joke. I laughed at his. I found excuses to move my chair closer – so he could read along on the paperwork, say. I kept touching him, accidentally, and apologizing. 

Somewhere in my bumbling seduction, he reached out to me. His arm around my back so he could point to a clause and ask a pretty simple question about it. 

Made me squirm. You can only imagine what that smelled like, dear fans.

It wasn’t an immediate thing. Giancarlo was loyal. He liked being a family man. He loved his baby daughter. He felt his wife was his best friend, even if her libido had slowed to a crawl. 

We had that in common. I had lost count of the weeks and months since my husband and I had enjoyed a little too much wine with some friends at an Italian place, both of us tingly, both of us “backed up,” so the blowjob I gave him in the car didn’t last as long as I thought it would, and that was that. I had to take care of myself later, after he’d passed out. 

Thank God for a thick dildo – or as I called it that night, Giancarlo.

Our first time, after a week of my “stalking” him, I’m not proud to say – bumping into him unexpectedly in the hallways, the library, at the supermarket, a few blocks from his apartment building – was in my office. 

Another occasion when selling my panties would’ve been a financial windfall. 

It was fast and hard. One of those fumbling times where we kissed and held each other and fought with our clothes, expecting to be caught at any moment. I was wet the moment he stepped into the room, thanking me for something, something, honestly, just an excuse. I sat wide on the edge of my conference table, he slid his jeans down just past his ass, and he pushed my panties aside, fucked me quick, but it wasn’t like with my husband. Giancarlo was as thick as his plastic namesake. Powerful. For the four minutes it took for him to come, I squeezed my thighs around him and dug in my heels, unwilling to let go until he’d emptied every drop into me. 

I could tell Giancarlo immediately felt guilty. How could a man who wanted to preach the word succumb to my Delilah-like temptation? 

Remembering Samson, I might have told him, Prettyfucking easily, but it might have scared him away. 

Instead, I consoled him, apologized, and told him how much it meant to me. Told him how I was falling for him, that he deserved better than a selfish young woman trapping him in a loveless marriage. 

Me, a homewrecker? 

I felt so dirty. So delicious. 

Luckily, it must’ve been great for him, too, because after that, we fucked all over town, and even out of it once. Our cars, our homes, my office, an empty study booth in the school library, in the men’s room, a fancy hotel when we were both out of town for “business” but that business was him fucking the living fuck out of me. A cheap, sleazy motel where we told each other the sick things we wanted but our partners wouldn’t do,and we did them all.

I felt like a teenager again, with one of my first loves – after the first awkward attempts, how I found someone who knew what he was doing. I felt drunk, giggling all the time thinking about him, daydreaming of my husband dying and Giancarlo’s wife leaving him so we could be together. I loved fucking him on campus and feeling him all inside of me the rest of the day, through the meetings and other meetings and lunch meetings and executive meetings and committee meetings, everyone else talking about budgets, FYE, equity, revenue, microaggressions, athletics, new lab equipment and course evaluations, while I drew Giancarlo’s cock on my legal pad in various states of rigidity.

I started buying nicer underwear, a lot like the pair here I’m going to sell to a lucky winner out there, my admirers. I bought black stockings with a seam up the back. Sometimes, as I passed Giancarlo in the hall, I would hand him a pair of panties that smelled very much like me in every way. For free.

It couldn’t last.

Giancarlo began to make excuses for why he couldn’t meet me. He was mopey and sad more often, the guilt weighing his down. I had to push harder, employ emotional manipulation to make him yield to me. I had to threaten taking my own life(which I would never do). The more guilty and upset he got, the harder he fucked, and the more I wanted to keep him for myself. 

That was a mistake. 

He began to hate me. 

While it made for fantastic sex, I had lost him emotionally. 

Until the night I was sucking his cock the sloppiest, most filthy way I could, telling him in-between how, “We…could be…together…and feel…like this forever…if you’d only…kill your wife.”

Giancarlo shoved me away. “How could you even think a thing like…?”

He tucked himself into his underwear, zipped up, and said, “Never again!”

Left me naked on the floor of my office, after midnight, no one else around except the maintenance crew, who had probably been listening through the walls for weeks.

Giancarlo meant it that time. He avoided me. He knew I was shadowing him, and learned how to lose me. He would not answer his phone, or my texts, or my emails, or my Facebook messenger, or the notes I left tucked under his wiper blades…blocked, blocked, blocked, blocked, blocked. 

I stopped attending meetings. Told my colleagues I was sick. Something chronic. I fell far behind on my paperwork. When I was in the office at all, I was snooping electronically. I found the wife’s socials. I made up profiles to follow her, befriend her, see what was going on. I finally saw Giancarlo’s daughter – an ugly child like her mother, a pasty dull brunettewith a puffy face, still in her mid-twenties. Barely an adult.

Giancarlo must’ve have confessed something to her. She stopped posting photos on Insta for a week before coming back with a picture of the both of them, Ginacarlo embracing his smiling, gap-toothed wife from behind: Love hurts, but God heals. As Jesus forgives us, we must forgive each other. 

I felt feverish. 

I threw up on my secretary’s desk. 

I went home. That was yesterday afternoon

Today, I have a plan. 

First, I specifically chose this pair of panties, violet and silky and lacy, because they are close to the ones from the first time Giancarlo fucked me. 

Then, I will return to work and tell my colleagues it was a twenty-four hour stomach bug, and thank them for their concern. 

I will fake my way through all those meetings, thighs tight, getting wet at the thought of seeing Giancarlo again. All for you, dear fans. All for you.

After work, I will return home and prepare dinner for my husband, the bastard. His favorite – spaghetti and meatballs. I’venever seen my husband stop at one plate of this. He is a glutton for it, eats until he is poping the button on his khakis. I will add extra garlic and salt and chili flakes to hide the taste of the rat poison and sleeping pills.

Once that’s taken care of, I will leave the house, hiding my long filet knife in my coat, and drive to Giancarlo’s apartment. I will bang on his door, I will scream and cry and tell him it’s an emergency.

One of them will open the door. I swear. Be it Giancarlo or his skank wife. They will both let me in, whether she knows it was me, specifically, who’d led her husband astray, because they are good people, with caring hearts, who would not want to slam the door in my time of need. 

Idiots. 

My adrenaline will carry me into their apartment, my panties soaking in my fear, my rage, and my lust. 

I will take the wife first. She will lead me to the kitchen or the living room to take a seat, then ask if I’d like some water or tea. When she comes back with a glass of iced water, I will take my knife from my coat and stab her in the throat, rip the blade across, and then stab into her abdomen again and again – into her womb, trying to prove a point to Giancarlo, in case another child might be the reason he’d called things off with me. Had he still been fucking his wife the whole time he was with me? 

I would show him how much better it would be, him and I and his ugly daughter.

If Giancarlo still wouldn’t see how perfect it is to take me and his daughter away from this place to begin a new life, well, I suppose he’ll have to die, too. By my blade. 

Then I will take his ugly little girl, although she willbecome a brilliant seducer once I train her well. I will call her Estella, no matter what her name actually is.

But I promise I will stop somewhere not far from the scene of the crime and remove my panties, seal them in an envelope, and mail them to the lucky individual who has given me the price I’m asking. Rest assured, I will fulfill my contract with you before I am caught, if ever.

One more thing: if my plan goes in another direction, such as Giancarlo accepting his wife’s death and agreeing to come with me, you’ll still get my panties, but with a forty percent discount. 

Thank for your business. 

 

Anthony Neil Smith is the author of numerous crime novels, including the Billy Lafitte series (including YELLOW MEDICINE and HOGDOGGIN’), award-winning ALL THE YOUNG WARRIORS, plus CASTLE DANGER: WOMAN ON ICE, WORM, SLOW BEAR, XXX SHAMUS, and more.

He is an English Professor at Southwest Minnesota State University. 

He likes cheap red wine and Mexican food. 

His dog is named Herman, and he is a good boy. (RIP Herman,

2 poems by Clem Flowers

Punk Noir Magazine

CLOSET CHAMPION

It was a flood

Of dreams– omens

Held to the jugular

Nothing

Nothing- just deer fat

& cotton wadding

In the lean

As the jubilee

Of black sugarcane

Reclaims the valley

Under a swimming glaze

Of ruby petals

& the thick melodies

Of the blue cardinals


Bay of Burnt Brass

True loves always burn each other in effigy at least that’s what you told me as the sky opened up into foams of rattlesnake hearts and or it’s old prescription bottles while the mountain sort of sang an old gospel tune and the peaches fell into the river and the water is all turning black certain the bricks will soon be swallowed by Hellfire but every time the Thunder cracks like a slick glass in an old sink I smile like a jackass eating Briars and think of all the silk in the sky I used to hone in on while drinking downtown like a ticker-tape champion guzzling champagne


Clem Flowers (They/ Them) is a soft spoken southern transplant living in spitting distance of some mountains in Utah. Maker of a fine omelet, but scrambled egg game needs some fine tuning. Nb & bi, they live in a cozy apartment with their wonderful wife & sweet calico kitty. They can be found on Twitter at @hand_springs777

Prosetry and flash by victoria brooks

Punk Noir Magazine

Cherry Queer

Come, sweet one. Look how you’ll dance. Look into the mouth of your future, and see its cherry-tinted tongue. Take genders. Take desires, take them all.

            “I came out too late,” you say.

            Bitterly, you shout, “straight people hate me and so do queers. Not straight enough, not queer enough. That’s me. I don’t deserve to fit.”

 In reply, a childish red scent fruits the air and tickles your nose. The smell comes from a bowl of cherries, offered to you as a welcome gift. All of them shine. Unafraid, and falling in love with your own tastes, you take one.

Enter. This future is just for you, just as it is justfor everyone. This is how bisexuality can feel, but not always how it is. Pain stirs in your bones.

            You manage to ground yourself. You feel the shapes of so many discarded cherry stones beneath your feet. A thousand juice-drenched lips summon you.

            You can do this.

Pain always drags at you. Snags at you, in moments like these; it grasps from the past and says to your advancing foot, “wait, here is a memory. Remember what he did to you. It’s not safe to tread there.”

            Slowly, you take its tired hand in yours and say gently, “I know you’re there. I love you and I won’t forget you. I love how you have helped me travel in time, but you cannot keep my body in the past.”

            Welcome, sweet one.

This room

This room is exactly the same as the one next-door, the one opposite, above and below. In other rooms, there might be the addition of a grey corporate chair, or there might be a different picture on the wall, beside the flat-screen television. The picture will be one of two: three blue lollipop-shaped trees with equal spaces between them, growing from red grass, against a purple sky; or an anodyne close-up of a thistle.

Asiya has seen both pictures.

Why the fuck are the trees in the picture blue?

Perhaps the hotel chain thinks the tree picture is inoffensive. She doesn’t think it is.

He’s finished shouting at her for now. She drags her body from the bed and walks to the bathroom.

The taps are modern and shiny. Asiya bends toward the sink to splash cold water on her face. She catches sight of her nose reflected back at her. She’s been crying for hours, so she looks like a clown. The sink is a big, blank, white square. She leans upon it, one hand on each corner. She lifts her face and looks into the large clean mirror. She looks thin and tired in the bright white light. The floor is made of a grey plastic material. It has flecks. They irritate her. Does the designer think that people look at them and admire the imagination and inventiveness of the pattern?

Asiya sees in the mirror that he has got up from the bed and is dressing. He’s storming out. She hears him push the smooth metal handle of the hotel room door. There is silence for a second, and then a smooth, satisfying click as the door slides shut.

Victoria Brooks is a researcher and writer living in London. She writes about sex, ethics, bisexuality and trauma recovery, and is a graduate student on the MA Novel Writing program at Middlesex University. She writes queer fiction and her writing has been published in Litro, Stone of Madness Press and Lickerish Library. Victoria is working on her first queer sci-fi novel and you can find her work at https://victoriathewriter.com/ and follow her on Twitter @V_Eleuteria and Instagram @Queermistresswifehuman

Warning Signs by Mark McConville

Punk Noir Magazine

I narrowly escaped your grasp 

A potent hand of disaster

This is not a dream or a much-loved snapshot 

It is hell on earth. 

I am bitterly disappointed in myself 

For losing the will and dropping the page 

Of reason into the fire that burns in my eyes

And on the heartland 

A harsh land where the heartless roam 

And nip at the travellers who crave to be 

In peace. 

You are one of the heartless souls 

Crafting dark magic and punching holes,

In paper-thin walls in a cold house where,

Psychopaths occupy the rooms and the corridors

They are nonbelievers, masterful weavers, 

Of hatred. 

This drug owns my life 

You said it would calm me

And increase my stride to a promised land,

Where optimism would rail against the grain 

Of sincerity and block out every sinew of pain. 

I am not a master of my own destiny 

You heard me speak honestly 

About the trappings I feel 

The walls in a dusty apartment 

Melting into me and shrouding out my desires. 

This gold ring means nothing to you or me 

It was a statement, at some point in our lives 

We had an understanding 

An innocent conversation regarding love 

It is now closed behind lies and profanity. 

I cannot sense a revolution or a spark of truth,

All I feel in my heart is loss and jolted blood

A myriad of dark thoughts fills my mind, 

And your face keeps me sick to my stomach 

Though it is art, clearly photogenic, 

It draws out warning signs. 

And this is it 

A swan song moment 

Where dreams ignite memories 

And when your taste evaporates from my 

Mouth.


Mark McConville is a freelance music journalist from Scotland who has written for many online and print publications. He also likes to write dark fiction and his poetry chapbook Lyrics From The Chamber will be released by Close To The Bone in August 2021. 

The Waking Up by Joan García Viltró

Punk Noir Magazine

All the little furry beasts

on the vast plains of earth;

all the birds that cling to branches, the birds of prey

from their eyries up on the crags,

and the scavengers perched;

all the wriggly fish osmosing the flesh of seas—

but not the sharks that never sleep—;

all that zillion squirmy, creepy crawlies

that brave their way through the whole mycelial mesh,

that worm their way up to the light—

I recall I used to fancy myself the Light

once, or a tiger enlightened the night before

in the midst of a rainy hunt,

or waking up a bug on a shiny white shelf,

or in day care to the chrome beam of a robot—;

all that insane amount of energy invested

in opening their tiny obsidian pupils

one day           will burn the air off this planet:

how do they manage

when it’s nothing but their craving to sleep their dream on?


Joan García Viltró is a teacher and poet based in Cambrils, on the south Catalan coast. His poems are populated by Mediterranean characters and mythologies, and reflect his concern with Nature struggling under human pressure. He curates a Twitter list, @joangv66/Poetry Matters, and reads poems on IGTV, joangv66.ig.

Happily married by Tim Frank

Flash Fiction, Punk Noir Magazine

Her schoolfriend texts, he’s an old man and he’s using you.

He’s my baby, she says, as prisms of light glance off her diamond ring onto the cloud white wallpaper.

Her friend says, look at it this way. If he had no money and you were ugly, what then?

That thought hangs in the air as he slides up beside her in their honeymoon bed. She admires the infinity pool outside and the vineyard beyond. He feels her up, then moves his hands towards her throat.

She swallows, then smiles.

There’s no way out. She doesn’t want one.

Tim Frank’s short stories have been published in Bourbon Penn, Eunoia Review, Maudlin House and elsewhere. He is the associate fiction editor for Able Muse Literary Journal. 

3 poems by Cathleen Allyn Conway

Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

Her Name

 

was a charm to ward off spirits. 

She’s an obsession: pure and sweet and chaste, 

the sort to follow doom around with a guidebook. 

 

She killed everyone she loved, stared into that golden 

furnace, thinking her mad virgin flesh wouldn’t burn. 

She fled to a convent, and I sent back the key:

 

I gave her a demon when she took her orders. 

I’m always trying to pry them apart, 

like children caught in angry mobs. 

 

Their names became one word that don’t belong together. 

Sometimes the truth is worse. The worst is to come,

if only for the few seconds her name is on my tongue.


 

Her Twilight World

 

Look, I know you feel like shit and you should feel like shit.

 

You are going to get well, I just know it. 

 

Your blood is such a personal, intimate thing. 

 

You’re good and kind; you really care about people. 

 

No wonder everyone loves you. 

 

I hate you so fucking much. 

 

Remember the time I tried to take that boy away from you? 

 

I would have killed someone for doing that to me. 

 

I’d never even kissed a boy before. 

 

Meeting him is the only good thing to happen to me. 

 

But you were always the one, sinking deeper and deeper into twilight language. 

 

I’d have been happy to just go on kissing you all night long. 


 

Control

 

Me and my friend had this bet in eighth grade over who’d lose it first. 

 

She was a disease you could catch, as if it were stuck in amber, 

practically pregnant before I got my first kiss. 

 

I must have imagined that glossy sheet of black hair 

fitting her head like a helmet… strange little potbelly.

 

All virgins have rounded little bellies, 

her skin a pink still burning from the bath.

 

Going to the bathroom in front of each other means 

we have no secrets. We dream of boyfriends but only 

 

feel comfortable with arms around another girl’s waist.

A white pigeon flew by and saved her with a magic key,

 

she didn’t become middle-heavy with leathery skin, 

frosted hair, dirty clothes, stockings with runs.

 

I totally would be a slut if I could get away with it:

gilded waltzing cocks, wet plumage through my rooms. 

 

I’ve never done any of that. 

Now I have them. They just come out; I can’t control them.


Cathleen Allyn Conway (she/her) is a creative writing PhD student at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is the author of Static Cling (Dancing Girl Press, 2012), All the Twists of the Tongue (Grey Book Press, 2018), and American Ingénue (Broken Sleep Books, 2021). Originally from Chicago, she lives in London with her partner and son. Find her on Twitter @CatAllynC.

Waitin’ Around to Die By David Cranmer and Stephen J. Golds

Punk Noir Magazine

BIO: David Cranmer is the editor of the BEAT to a PULP webzine and whose own body of work has appeared in such diverse publications as The Five-Two: Crime Poetry Weekly, Needle: A Magazine of Noir, LitReactor, Macmillan’s Criminal Element, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Under the pen name Edward A. Grainger he created the Cash Laramie western series. He’s a dedicated Whovian who enjoys jazz and backgammon. He can be found in scenic upstate New York where he lives with his wife and daughter.

Stephen J. Golds was born in North London, U.K, but has lived in Japan for most of his adult life.

He writes primarily in the noir and dirty realism genres and is the co-editor of Punk Noir Magazine.

He enjoys spending time with his daughters, reading books, traveling the world, boxing and listening to old Soul LPs. His books are Say Goodbye When I’m Gone, I’ll Pray When I’m Dying, Always the Dead, Poems for Ghosts in Empty Tenement Windows I Thought I Saw Once and the story and poetry collection Love Like Bleeding Out With an Empty Gun in Your Hand.