“Woods of the Ozarks” © Bonnie Matthews Brock



Strewn bottles of Perrier litter the floor,
Perrier but in plastic,
To be fancy but on a budget,
The day dawns
Bright and shiny,
I arise bright and shining
From a night spent in love.

Lust really, lust
And motions,
We keep going through
The motions,
We know the lines,
The moves
As we dance in
Double entendres

             And contradictories.

Your words,
Honey sweet,
Tangy with ground orange rinds,
Your eyes dilated
And fixated on my brown thighs.

Hints of yellow in them both
My brown thighs and your brown eyes,
Your lips lie,
Irresoluteness shall be your death,
Or at least a bad stomachache—

For you can’t seem to decide
What you want of me,
But know,
That you want me,
And my brown thighs,
And my light eyes,
And my curved lips,
And the hips that your fingertips
Refuse to lose!

Feeling as if I, a glittering canary
And you, a stranger peering in
From a shop window,
Wondering if you can afford
For this thing to fit the shape of you.


I stare back—
At those brown eyes,
Full lips,
Manicured fingertips,
And melt
Into your chocolate grip.

We vibe
In tandem
Yet pedal apart,
Our picture a gradient
Of auburns and butterscotch


The sun high,
I arise,
You turn to look at me,
Our eyes meet,
I smile
And say farewell,
Hoping the daylight
Keeps me warm
In the shade of your indecision.


E.J. Batiste is a writer, screenwriter, poet, and artist originally from Raeford, North Carolina. She holds an MFA degree in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. E.J.’s creative work has appeared in various literary publications in North America and Europe.

Bonnie Matthews Brock is a Florida-based photographer, as well as school psychologist. She enjoys capturing raw single-capture photos of a wide variety of subjects, and learning and experimenting with shooting techniques such as long-exposure and intentional camera movement, as well as with editing methods. You can find Bonnie’s images on the covers of publications such as Ibbetson Street, Poesy Magazine, and Wild Roof Journal, and on the pages of Oddball Magazine, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Ember Chasm Review, Beaver Magazine, and Unstamatic. Her works are archived at institutions such as Poets House NYC, Brown University, University of Buffalo, and Harvard University.