6, 9, 11, 14.

By D. E. Fulford.

“on the bus i tell talia god is a gerbil and she cries”

‘Childhood’ by Samira Khadivizand.


there was no ill-intent toward the bee/my foot swelled for half a day congealed inside baking soda mask/we have to move again/the fixed blocks of apartments hold friend potential/thrift store roller skates never fit right/mama is the only one at home now/papa is working on the road/i get a reading light for my headboard/the twins line their dresser drawers with he-man dolls/when he’s home all they do is yell into darkness/later i learn honey extracts a stinger from young skin/from the trampoline across the street we hear tasha’s crying her stepdad is naked scream/fledgling tenuous i know what happens/it will never be dark in my room ever again


on the bus i tell talia god is a gerbil and she cries/mary has a pet skunk/we listen to michael jackson records scour mama’s anatomy books/the full world is friends/kristen lives at the top of the hill/we play kickball in adam’s yard even though he has diabetes/books are growing i’ve now read millions/mama’s sewing machine pulses with the kitchen lights/for halloween i am a homemade bird of paradise/dressing up for “bare book night” in the cafeteria and the bird returns/kids don’t always know when they are being mocked/tension like wire cuts still hot


the documentary said nightmares are suppressed fears surfacing like bodies you tried to drown/in science we get $20 to pick a pet/i convince my group we need a tarantula/before i sleep i read the list of things i hate so they do not perform in my dreams/dehydrated spider skin is scratchy and sad/the whole world has a boyfriend but me/mrs. bullock makes us say where we go to church/i didn’t expect social studies to be about my atheism/four kids bring pamphlets from churches next class/my divergent existence is not safe in the classroom/the walls are talking about me/in homes i’ll never enter my ears decant blood thicker than cold honeycake/i just want a boy to like me/too shyly defective every thumping second/maybe a god could help me believe if i could try enough 


uprooted again i am the worst tree/southern friends warn colorado will turn me into a skater/sometimes the worst possible thing means nothing at all/we change sheets to stay in town/my brother catches me flushing my breakfast/when she forgets to pick us up the walk is only a few miles/elk wander the golf course/the letters from back home become my blood/i offered stephen king corn nuts the night of my first kiss/this is not a euphemism/debauchery is friendlier than complacency/courting peril flatters/he buys us coors light to drink under honey june bridge/when the river behind the cabin freezes we skate to the hockey rink/where they all wait/joel high sticks my face/gives me kfc and punk rock as apologies but my soul is now saved  

The Blood Pudding – November 18, 2020

D. E. Fulford is a writer and English instructor at Colorado State University. She holds master’s degrees in both Creative Writing and Education, and is currently in her second year of her Doctor of Education. Her poems can be found in Indolent Books, Literati Magazine, Dreamers Magazine, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, Sunspot Literary Journal, Inklette Magazine, and others. She resides on the front range of the Rocky Mountains with her partner Levi and their chocolate Labrador, The Walrus. In her spare time, she can be found riding her Triumph Street Twin motorbike.

Artwork: Samira Khadivizand is an artist living in Melbourne. She focuses on the aesthetic nature of art, depicting the multiple aspects of life, utilising colour combination and light. Samira is a graduate of stage and costume design from the school of fine arts in Tehran University.  She lives in Melbourne, Australia. You can find her and buy her work here.