Farewell Nineteen

Written by Keri Stewart
Art by NEOSiAM 2021

  1. she no longer exists, existing not in her past self.
  2. her death sprouts closed-lip demises with the mere exhale of her final breath.
  3. forget crisp-cut eulogies for they will not follow her current image.
  4. formaldehyde solution clings to her pre-mortem apologies.
  5. she deconstructs the oblivious nature of other-preservation, conserving her inner strength for ethical, selfish deeds.
  6. during her autopsy, she surgically replaces her silent-movie organs with unruly eager-expressing one’s stitched and sewn in irreplaceable individualism. 
  7. she attends a funeral, and in the casket: her mirrored body mocks stillness symphonies and the time-crunching nerves of crackling rubber skin.
  8. medley of dissected dislocation otherworldly shrieks of her transformation.
  9. from larvae to far-fetched feathered crow, she emerges.
  10. unbound from botanical interpersonalizations that could weepy wilt her surplus of self.
  11. cliff jumping in adrenaline resolution, a body resurrected by the axe of candor.
  12. escaping the womb in a coat of vernix caseosa, not with a cry but with a strident step.
  13. the undead ditz of dancing towards self-preservation for body and mind.
  14. rejoicing in the massacre of her previous self as she lets the blood climb up her legs like a hungry cat and pleading child.
  15. black widow killer dressing in the revival of survival, heels clicking on cracked tiles.
  16. painting her face with the ashes of her past self, a skin enveloped in the particle grips of burned-away foolishness. 
  17. mansion smirking in the mirror because the case of her past self remains cold.
  18. her revival sprouts second chances with the mere inhale of her first breath.
  19. she no longer exists, only in metamorphic versions of herself.

Bleeding Heart Dove

Written by Keri Stewart
Art by David Clode

bipedal fools
bare candied crimson
atop hill-crested chests.

rustled reds acquaint peers
in full blossom,
ripened to maroon flight.

bleeding heart dove
soars shared waters
with pigeon-plucked birds.

flower feathers taint
in communication commotion,
ruffled from falling.

bleeding heart dove
solitude soars mundanity,
the insanity of passage.

centerfold cherries
rot heavenly-white plumage.
a canvas struck crimson.

bipedal fool
displays claret hues,
naive to eventual aches.

A Paragraph for Autumn

Written by Keri Stewart
Art by Mathias Reding

it’s flooding my head. every thought of what happened manically dances on my brain, submerging my organs in oceanic depths and drowning me in the fountain of mistakes. i choke on the moments that replay as if climbing an infinite staircase. i run out of energy; i drain of my life. i beg that time takes it back and that i can return to before this mess and pretend that it never happened while knowing full well that it did. i am good at pretending and ignoring the hurt that festers inside. it bubbles in accumulation until eruption swallows me, and my thoughts are no longer my own. i am no longer myself. i look at the barren trees and realize that i left a part of myself in autumn. 

Coincidences are For Chums

Written by Keri Stewart
Art by Domen Mirtič Dolenec

my desire wasn’t born
it already had a bed
to coexist with my mortal self
in boundless fields of snowy sheets.
the comfort of the cold was vulnerable

and temporary. frost latched onto skin
and armies of winds shot cannonballs
till organs concluded their pace.

all left without a trace,
at least, for my irrational brain
conversing eternity,
a backwards ideology
as hands pulled push doors
and thoughts scattered like ice,
frozen sheets syncopated to disaster.

nothing was a coincidence.

Waltz to Dust

Written by Keri Stewart
Art by JV Buenconcejo

the faintest glimmer of the moon
delicately peeks down
in cosmic dances,
stepping with every musical note.
a cobalt waltz
lingers in the sky;
the rhythmic motions
twirl ‘fore day.
the kiss of knowledge
and a glimpse of the universe.
starry ensembles dot the heavens,
switching between partners
like the delicate seasons.
the dreamy shimmer of the moon
is captured in this momentary dance.
celestial bodies waltz to dust.

The Harvest Moon

Written by Keri Stewart
Art by Abdullah Al Mamun

it winks.
that harvest moon
blinks in wild, warm song.

a golden gaze like hay to graze,
beams like the honey-toned
eyes of an owl,
the fine feathers of a yellow
warbler flying at dawn,
the peel of an orange, slightly bruised.

take flight!
the marvels of a stellar bright.
symmetrical glows emerge as

a fresh set of wings guide the moon,
the haze of night
singing sweet lullabies
that lunar grounds learned long ago.

celestial bodies understand,
and in understanding,
they record each star
blinking in morse code.

alas, the harvest moon grows cold,
dying down to a faded blister,
a lesion where skin will grow.
and as it continues to rise,
even amidst the faded sky,
it does so perfectly—

how perfectly imperfect
it glides into place.

the clouds fall like blankets,
and with it, the moon
whispers goodbye,
blinking morse code bright
to every passerby.

New Environments

Written by Keri Stewart
Art by Kei Scampa

it’s in my bones, it’s in my veins.
lightning bolts hold the reigns.

this piercing sensation strikes
my abdomen like blazing bullets.

strident thoughts chill my spine.
they send my tired spirit on a climb.

i march atop a long and dreary hill.
my journey mourns in elegy all that’s lost:

what could be, what may never be;
i find myself on a contemplation spree,

i trade my sanity for breaths.
the stress shreds my humanity.

A Recipe for Disaster

Written by Keri Stewart
Art by Renato Danyi

words were too complicated
so i shut my mouth.
my lips dug the grave for speech
and danced atop the dirt with glee.

being buried alive was frightening
but such horrors were not my problem
as i laid my words to rest,
oxygen abandoning their habitat.
this script relinquished from my life

had detached from my persona,
ripped from my chest cavity like a heart.
but the bones did not care for the empty space,
so neither did my lips nor i muster concern.

i had let nature do its job; decay followed my
dead words like shadows overtaking the night sky.
and i, a mere human, had watched this sight,
ignorant of my wrinkling fingers,

the skin crumbling off the bone like
a recipe for ribs. my own recipe for disaster
had been constructed through my passivity.
and soon i was like a mirror of my words six feet below,
copying the mimicry of death and its plague.


Written by Keri Stewart
Art by Nataliya Vaitkevich

unyielding fire forges a charred complexion.
the flame licks my up delicate skin,
its forked tongue pricking my nerves.

intrepid blazes burn to completion.
brilliant apricot and honey shades
dance to their bittersweet slumber.

i watch their final breath leave
with a sizzle of glittering smoke,
and then i follow their path.

i accept my sole fate:
solitude and stillness,
a body slowly shutting down.