This selection, chosen by Guest Editor Jordi Alonso, is from The Ministry of Flowers by Andrea Witzke Slot, released by Valley Press in 2020.
Scrolled parchment, spiralled into safe-
keeping. Texts pressed, snailed into cells.
Flesh scrolled into mine, just an arm
spun over my waist, my back pressed
to a stomach, hips spooled into parchment
of thighs, hands domed beneath fingers
intersticed, fingers that shudder every so often,
as if to remind me that morning is not yet,
as if to say 4am is but a bookmark,
an airlocked reserve, a reed pen,
a cave of punctuation mark. Aide-
mémoire. Where-to-return. Papyrus
of iron-gall and carbon soot sheets,
we are tucked into as little space as possible,
in these coils of elsewhere. Nobody knows
us here and we can hardly decipher it ourselves,
yet if this dead sea life is but an afterthought
of words without words, sleep without sleep,
then leave me here, pressed between
mornings, coppered into clay pot dark.