Toxic

There are pools of brine
on the ocean floor.

Brine is heavy water,
with a higher toxicity.

The edge of a brine pool
looks like another beach

at the bottom of the sea.
I have rooms like this in me.

Poison up to my knees.
I could drown eels,

if I wanted.
Sometimes I imagine

if the worst thing I ever did
was done to me

instead.

Catherine Weiss is a poet and artist from Maine. Their poetry has been published in Tinderbox, Up the Staircase, Fugue, Okay Donkey, perhappened, Birdcoat, Bodega, Counterclock, petrichor, HAD, and Flypaper Lit. Catherine is the artist behind the collaborative poetry chapbook/card deck I WISH I WASN’T ROYALTY (Game Over Books, 2020). They are also the author of chapbook-length poem, FERVOR (Ginger Bug Press, 2021) and full-length poetry collection, WOLF GIRLS VS. HORSE GIRLS (Game Over Books, 2021). More at catherineweiss.com.

Saying Goodbye


            dedicated to Adrian Walker

A lone seal, just beyond the cresting waves,
Plays in glorious isolation.
Gulls soar above, a silent question
In the blanket grey sky.

Memories of sunnier days whisper in my mind,
As I recall collective laughter and soaring
Kites that seemed unending.

Beginning now a new chapter
The seal plays on, unaware of time or place,
As we walk on, pushing forward
In soft sand, that gives and sighs.

Helen Openshaw is a Drama and English teacher, from Cumbria. She enjoys writing poetry and plays and inspiring her students to write. Helen has had a short monologue commissioned by Knock and Nash productions. Recently published and upcoming poetry work in Secret Chords by Folklore publishing, Green Ink Poetry magazine, Words and Whispers magazine, The Madrigal, Fragmented Voices, Loft Books and The Dirigible Balloon magazine.