Hot Things to Me Are Not Dark                                         by Jennifer Martelli

—Nurse Wolf, Dominatrix

I saw her on Donahue in the ’90s, began my slow transformation

into a blotched cow, learned to line dance on the molecular level: this is how

I recovered from self-injury, from being a girl-child among girl-children.

When I had my daughter, my fears were lonely: I unzippered them

as if they were cattails by the pond where the snakes go. Unzippered their whole

velvet torsos, their tight girdles, let loose fear fear fear into the warm autumn sky.

Tonight, the gray moths stay stone still as angel hearts all night on my screen door,

gush dumb tragedy from their arterial wings. The moths are collective: come

as one thought to their deaths at the porch light.

Jennifer Martelli is the author of The Queen of Queens and My Tarantella, named a “Must Read” by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. Her work has appeared in Poetry and elsewhere. Jennifer Martelli has received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She is co-poetry editor for Mom Egg Review.

Guest Editor Allison Blevins is a queer disabled writer.  She is the author of the collections Handbook for the Newly Disabled, A Lyric Memoir (BlazeVox, 2022) and Slowly/Suddenly (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2021).  Cataloguing Pain (YesYes Books, 2023), a finalist for the Pamet River Prize, is forthcoming. She is also the author of the chapbooks Chorus for the Kill (Seven Kitchens Press, 2022), Susurration (Blue Lyra Press, 2019), Letters to Joan (Lithic Press, 2019), and A Season for Speaking (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019), part of the Robin Becker Series. Her chapbook fiery poppies bruising their own throats (Glass Lyre Press) is forthcoming.  Allison is the Founder and Director of Small Harbor Publishing and the Executive Editor at the museum of americana. She lives in Missouri with her partner and three children where she co-organizes the Downtown Poetry reading series.  For more information visit


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