Abrupt Banjo Stubs Its Toe On A Stack of Love Letters

all the letters in your name like wires
dangling from a library book. zapzap
like lint when my tongue hits the phonix
electric fence so it’s not mine to say
the way i’ve come to
say it so i don’t say it anymore

but i used to dream about lamps.
about lights about lights about how
dogs can’t see color but Picasso fed them cadmium anyway,
their insides on fire like uncomfortable lips – the swallowed sonic peel
of the skin, foaming where the bark rumbles. something inside me foams
at the sound at the zap zap and the not mine, it’s not
mine not mine anymore and one time i tried to walk away
but i fell asleep at the Louvre. Musee de receipts and taxes.

“i’ve kept them, for you” said the mathematician before he stubbed
his toe on the east coast – he was trying to be a poem.
(met him on the 5:10 Northeast Regional. Penn Station to Providence)
(he ruined providence for me) (wrinkled the east coast like a zipper.)
architectured earth like an abandoned wing but man, the smile
metallic, clear plastic, prongs of a fork.

heard someone say “i tried
not to be obvious. it’s hard to look away.”
yeah something like that. something
like that something like smiling politely
at strangers before becoming apples at their feet for you.
i used to dream about you. about apples. i used to apples
about dreams. about you, here. you are Here between banjo strings, sliced


Photography © Allison Goldin

Photography © Allison Goldin


Jess Rizkallah is a Lebanese-American twenty-something with a subtle affinity for the moon and also burritos. Studies at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and is editor of Maps For Teeth magazine. Wants to be an astronaut and is published extensively on her mom’s fridge and not as extensively in other places.

Allison Goldin is an artist living in Cambridge. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles. She is currently studying Illustration at The School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.