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Karma at the Charlie Hotel: Fiction by Louella Lester
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oh how i wish: Poem by Rob Plath
Bird in Flight, Nullarbor Plain, 1967: Poem by John Doyle
Pools: Poem by Bernice Holtzman
I Exist Inside an Invisible Poem Everlasting & Overflowing: Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Let me drop the last chapter: Poem by Partha Sarkar
Excursion: The Cruise Ship Chronicles: Poem by Jake Sheff
We'll Always Have Two Things to Hold: Poem by Chandu Govind
why nothing else matters: Poem by John Sweet
the pale grey light of forgotten afternoons: Poem by John Sweet
Orchestra Class: Poem by Elizabeth Zelvin
The Old Lady Shows Her Mettle: Poem by Elizabeth Zelvin
Eggs Over Easy: Poem by Peter Mladinic
Pretty Face: Poem by Peter Mladinic
Another Saturday Night: Poem by Richard LeDue
My Death Knells: Poem by Richard LeDue
Poems as Cheap as Christmas Lights: Poem by Richard LeDue
Dead Work: Poem by John Grey
How He Died: Poem by John Grey
The Man in Their Midst: Poem by John Grey
First at Pimlico: Poem by Craig Kirchner
4 AM: Poem by Craig Kirchner
Leap Year: Poem by Craig Kirchner
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Strange Gardens
ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Peter Mladinic: Pretty Face

104_ym_prettyface_bernice.jpg
Art by Bernice Holtzman 2024

Pretty Face

 

by Peter Mladinic

 

She sat across from him at a table

outdoors, they were eating hamburgers.

His and hers. The burger in her hands

close to her mouth, as if she were about

to bite into him, bite by bite devour my

boyfriend Colin. So I Kaitlin devoured Mo.

Shot by shot. The girl whose apartment

she was staying in found her in a fetal

position near the toilet in the corner

of the bathroom, her brains leaking,

the girl told the police. What the girl

didn’t see was I shot Mo once, as she

tried to get away, shot her twice, a third

shot, I just kept shooting and ended it

in a corner, she couldn’t run anymore,

or cycle, to win ribbons for cycling.

 

I fled to Costa Rica. First I must tell you

in high school I was voted “best hair.”

In court my sister said she didn’t know

how I got her passport. A lie the court

didn’t swallow. In Costa Rica I taught

yoga, as I’d done in Austin. I too cycled,

that’s how Colin and I met, and how

he met Mo. They’d dated off and on

before I met him. He won’t visit me

in prison, my sister will. I did my best

not to get caught, in Costa Rica, plastic

surgery. But I couldn’t change pretty.

If I weren’t white, female, young, pretty

would I have gotten the death penalty?

In high school I was voted best hair.

Can’t change a sociopath, that crazy.

 

Ninety years.  With parole I’ll be out

in thirty. Sixty-four. I’ll still have a sex drive.

I’ll ride a bicycle. Something Mo can’t do.

Her brains were leaking. The court

considered manner of death. Maybe if

I were male, and looked like the boxer

Sonny Liston, they’d have strapped me

in the yellow mama and fried my brains.

I don’t know how she got the passport,

sister lied. Lock her up for aiding me.

I’ll win the sociopath beauty contest they

have in the prison. I’ll teach yoga, write

a book. No crossing the finish line for Mo,

no more Colin. I caught them together.

She lifted the burger, about to devour him.

I devoured her. Look at my pretty face.

 

 

Peter Mladinic’s fifth book of poems, Voices from the Past, is available from Better Than Starbucks Publications.

 

An animal rights advocate, he lives in Hobbs, New Mexico, United States.

Bernice Holtzman’s paintings and collages have appeared in shows at various venues in Manhattan, including the Back Fence in Greenwich Village, the Producer’s Club, the Black Door Gallery on W. 26th St., and one other place she can’t remember, but it was in a basement, and she was well received. She is the Assistant Art Director for Yellow Mama.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2024