he cannot assist The shape-shifting is my own trick
further numbing transfigures The tree becomes
a stack of two-by-fours I can’t feel a thing
My father is a carpenter hands callused
from hammer & saw He can’t protect me
from them He’s far across town at the lumberyard
sawdust like blond confetti on his arms
Willa Carroll is the author of Nerve Chorus (The Word Works), one of Entropy Magazine’s Best Poetry Books of 2018 and a SPD Bestseller. Her poems have appeared in AGNI, LARB Quarterly Journal, Narrative, The Rumpus, The Slowdown with Tracy K. Smith, Tin House, and elsewhere. A finalist for The Tomaž Šalamun Prize and The Georgia Poetry Prize, she won Narrative Magazine’s Third Annual Poetry Contest and Tupelo Quarterly’s TQ7 Poetry Prize. Her poetry videos and multimedia collaborations have been featured in Interim, Narrative, TriQuarterly, Writers Resist, and other venues. She holds a MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars and lives in New York City.
Heather Leigh is a queer, disabled writer and editor who has been working within Chicago’s publishing world for more than twenty years, editing poetry for the likes of Curbside Splendor and reading prose and poetry for Uncanny Magazine. She has recently began to focus on her own publication goals between semesters teaching English, writing, reading, and journalism at various midwestern community colleges. She is a three-time SAFTA fellowship recipient, a multiple resident of Firefly Farms, and most recently had a speculative horror story published in Bloodlet, an anthology by CultureCult Press. She lives in Chicago with a retired cage-fighting poet, two rescue cats names after Buffy watchers, enjoying life with the family that caught her by surprise.