Art by Phil Shaw
The dildo Raegan has picked out.
A 7” silicone disco, it would glitter
Downtown Berkeley if I pulled it
from the brown paper-bag
where it hides, a dormant thrust.
The bay blows up the dress
of a young woman. She lights
a cigarette, staggers
in stilettos up Durant Ave.
Why does my lover want me
to look like a horny unicorn?
Rae watches the drunk woman
disappear, is silent when I ask why
our first dick is so luminous,
even in the dark
it cannot be mistaken
for the real thing.
His foreskin is buoyed, a gasping O
on the weightless surface. His wife,
too tired to bathe in the firebath
her husband and I spent all day
scrubbing and filling and heating.
Without her, my arms hug my chest
and I sink beneath the veil of water.
What would this look like to people?
His long curls stuck to his shoulders,
his glistening beard as he asks me
to turn toward the forest’s bare
branches, budding with spring.
He fills the sea sponge with warm
lake water, exfoliating the space
on my back I cannot reach alone.
The water cascades against my skin,
cleansing the idea that being undressed
with a man means only one thing.
Here, we are siblings saving bath water.
He is my friend. Our fingertips,
wrinkled. The equinox tilting us.
Ghazal for Women Drivers
Our man-bun messiah is too tired to drive us on this Portuguese road.
He anoints me pilot of his ten-ton motorhome. I grin, eyes on the road,
steered by desire to buckle up next to his girlfriend. I slide into his seat,
imagine her straddling me in it, but I’ve never driven on the other side of the road.
I burn out the clutch. He reads from a Subaru’s bumper sticker:
BEWARE WOMEN DRIVERS ON ROAD.
I cannot finesse a heavy load or woo his girl with my hopeless masculinity.
I emit stereotypes, reduce patriarchal footprint for a less toxic road.
And the next time she sunbathes nude, I won’t stare or pretend
like he does, to know how to fix the steam filling the road.
I’ll just dream she howled my name, whilst off into the sunset,
on my face, she rode.
Fall / Winter 2023
Carson Wolfe (they/she) is a Mancunian poet and queer parent. Their debut poetry pamphlet Boy(ish) Vest was praised by Dr. Kim Moore as an “unforgettable, wild, risk-taking roller-coaster of a book.” In 2021, they were an Aurora Prize Winner and a Button Video Contest winner. Their poetry has appeared in Button Poetry, Rattle, Fourteen Poems, and the Penn Review. They live in Manchester with their wife and three children.
Phil Shaw is a cross-disciplinary artist, art director, and content creator. He received his BFA from Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI before relocating to New York where he worked alongside his mentor, legendary photographer Steven Klein. In 2016, he cofounded No Ceilings Entertainment with Dennis Jauch and Kim Willecke. Handling visuals for the creative collective, his aesthetic remains a cornerstone of its myriad projects.