tells me

I am the dominant one

in the evolutionary machine,

but as I grow

the Christmases

of my childhood

are lost to me

because it does not snow

in December anymore.

I can hardly remember anymore

what the world looked like

to my grandmother

so I wonder

if really

we aren’t the ones

being dominated,

too self righteous

to understand our failings,

too greedy

while consuming our own image

to feel how impermanent we are.


I’m not saying I hate people,

but no matter how much we fill the world

with ourselves

until the air’s run out

and the water’s run dry,

it will not change our size,

will not make us titans,

will not change our dying.

We will never

be bigger

than our home.


Your God, My God

Do you pray to a God of Fire and Brimstone

Or one of Hope and Love?

When did you become acquainted with Him?

Do you ask Him for forgiveness

Or favors?

Or let’s be honest,

Isn’t it both?

Does your God love you?

And how do you know?

Do His hands fold like yours do when He wants something from you?

Someone told me His eye is on the sparrow;

He’s watching over me.

How can he do both at once?

And why does he bother looking at either of us?

And how do you know He’s a man?

Why are all the best biblical figures men?

I’ve knelt before a man before

But when he put his hand

On the back of my neck,

It didn’t feel so holy.

Or is your God a woman?

Is She beautiful?

Is She black

Or is She pale?

Does She have a color?

Does She have a body?

Would my Earthly body be enough

If I lived where She does?

Do you think She is ashamed of us?

Do you think She will come for us soon?

Or is that from a different part of the Book?

I wouldn’t know,

I’ve lost my place.

I’ve never known God well

Though sometimes when I cry myself to sleep,

I wonder if I weep for missing Them.

I wonder if They miss me too.

Is that something God can do?



Oh, the wind grows cold.

This time last year the warmth

of her breath in my memory

warded off any shuddering to the season.

But this year there is no hope

in the hearth and the meat

on my bones sallows

when challenged by the world.

I am not quite so special as I was before,

nor am I as naïve.

I make a terrific island and she

makes a terrific breeze.

And she is called home by a man

that I could eat in one bite

in all my enormity

and I remain, stoic and grand,

in all my supposedly splendorous solitude.


G, the artist formerly known as Gabriella


My nonbinary friend straps on a jacket

as big as they are,

laces up their war shoe of choice: Converse.

And thus, they enter each day a warrior.

They sent me a photo

of them holding a balloon a while back

and it struck me how good sunshine looks in black leather.

They remind me of how bad ass it is for a rose

to have thorns.

They swear more now than they did when we first met

and it’s fucking revolutionary.

And they look better too now that their hair is shaved.

All the best warriors shed their locks in service

of being more adept at battle.

I think it’s funny they want me to write them a battle poem,

that they want someone to scribe them a war cry,

as if one wasn’t already inside them this whole time,

as if they are not already fighting all the best fights

(including those some cruel invisible force put inside their head),

as if they aren’t already a warrior whose earned all their scars.

My nonbinary friend prepares for battle

and I swear their eyes are brighter now than they used to be.

And when their eyes set upon me

in the heat of everything wrong in the world,

I feel all the air molecules between us buzz in harmony

to the tune of a war cry:

Let’s fucking rage.



Biographical Note: Anastasia Simms (she/her) is a third-year honors student at Kent State University studying English, Psychology, and Creative Writing. She works at the KSU Writing Commons, the Wick Poetry Center, Brainchild Magazine, and New American Press. Her work is published by or forthcoming in the Red Cedar Review, an anthology by Lit Cleveland, and Outrageous Fortune Magazine. Anastasia hopes that her writing will positively impact others just as the written word has always done for her.