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ISSUE 5

Lila Robinett Tindall

Birds Who Eat Rice Do Not Explode


So I filled the bags myself and carried
splinters from my DIY garland


down the aisle in my right thumb.
Now the DPS has a thumbprint


with tampered rivulets for my new name.
An ex told me eyes stay


the same forever so I was lucky
that's what I loved most about him.


My grandmother’s sclera joined
her iris like ice caps.


The World Economic Forum
says they will be completely melted


by 2030–my mom doesn’t buy it
and air fries her T-Bone. I don’t look


like myself in my new driver’s license photo:
forehead too expansive. I no longer care


what my ex’s eyes looked like
and maybe my mom is right


and they are just distracting us
to exploit us further. Do you remember


those big bowls of health cereal
Mamaw ate?
She died of Alzheimer’s


and my mom has a 30% chance
of contracting it herself.


I feel the scratch in my throat
from Women’s Centrum MultiVitamin.


My husband had melanoma
that wasn’t. They cut it from his back.


I roll over and scratch in circular motion
around the scar. Just last week his guardian

angel fell from the rearview mirror
and got caught under the floorboard.


Tossing rice is now explicitly against Chapel Policy.
It looks like snow in the sunshine.

Memory from Bible College


Worship Leader of Baptist University
strummed his amped guitar gently
long hair over ocean swell
cheekbones from the blue stage light.
He bent his knees & thrusted to
“King of My Heart.” Seemed to me
like he knew how to fuck. In the back
of his Prius he laid me down
for feast, sucked and bit, made me bleed.
The next day was church & I knelt
before the priest & crossed
my chest to reject the body
of Christ: I because of my bleeding
lip. I asked if that’s why
he decided to cross his body. He replied
for that we should not feel ashamed.

Lila Robinett Tindall is a native East Texan living in Hattiesburg, Mississippi where she attends the University of Southern Mississippi as a Ph.D. student in Creative Writing. Her work can be found in Five South, Ekstasis, and Impostor magazine.

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