By Leanne Talavera

After His Touch

That’s how they’ll get you, through
your eyes. It’s your eyes
that will cradle flickering irises. That
will swim in white paranoia.
It will ignore the faces in fear
they’ll meet another, and not like
what they see. They will glaze with
the guilt of weakness, and
shake with the shiver of awareness.
It’s the eyes that will fall with
the sense of recognition. The alarms
that will go off when the wind
moves with an arm, always
mistaken for a weapon to violate. And
traumatize. In the eyes is where
you’ll weigh your routes. When to
avoid. And when to risk. It’s where
victims will be branded, like pigs
ready for slaughter.

                                    To be eaten.


A single grey thread
               that stretches through time
clings to the trenches
                of your cheeks. Right below
the floppy disc
                that hangs from your
right eye. Yet
                even as it slowly
peels away, like
                the flakes that bloom
fully off the skin
                on your toes. Or
the letters of my name
                from the white
of your tongue. I
                will still love you
with the days honey
                poured from your fingertips,
soft with the ravings
                of a fleeting youth.

How Ironic

There’s this thing called
I’ve never been in. But
if that were the case
I shouldn’t be telling you how to
keep one. And there’s this thing called
that I’ve never been on. But
if that were the case
I shouldn’t be telling you how to
do them. But there is this thing called
that I kind of know because
it comes and goes
just like my fear of the dark. But
if that were the case
I shouldn’t be telling you how to
do it. Because
as if anyone knows how to do that,

About the Author:

Leanne Talavera is from the Philippines, and is currently an undergraduate at New York University Abu Dhabi. She intends to major in Literature and Creative Writing and (possibly) History. Her life would be meaningless without tea and coffee.