Preacher swims into focus. Each throat gargling “ah,” churning “men.” An electrical storm triggered by a four-letter word. The people of Laos call it qaug dab peg, or, “the spirit catches you and you fall down.” Lightning etch-a-sketched between God and the clean slate of Mary’s womb. Her eyes rolling in and up. Before words there is seeing. No, seizing. Holy Ghost, says Eve, her brain swelling with the choir and orchestra.

Pillow Mints



To forget the heart,

its blind growls. Ignore

bric–a-brain. Go on

a slapping spree.

Remember: every

Sunday is funday.



To go west. To keep

going west until you

eat your tail. Measure

the space between

a cat’s toes. You’ll

need that data later.



To go ahead and push

that frustration button.

Don’t pick the carnivores

off. They’re just doing

their jobs. Remember

this: everything.



To vacation in a parallel

universe. Burn the post-

cards. Send letters via

rocket windshield. Don’t

come home until you’ve

grown an extra pinky.



To hate this. To nothing

that. Sneeze out your

old self. Now concentrate.

Hey. Look. At. That

gravestone’s stolen

your name.



To fuck against a book-

case. Spine on spines.

Lean down, lick the whites

of your fuckee’s eyes.

Know this: it doesn’t

always taste like ginger.



To use yourself as a

partner, grab your arm,

do-si-do. Understand:

that growth on your

thigh is just your

own sleeping hand.


Katie Quarles was the recipient of the Ina Coolbrith Memorial Prize in poetry. She received second place in SPC's poetry contest. Her work has appeared in The King's English, Cahoots Magazine, Cause and Effect, and Apocryphal Text. She is currently finishing her first collection.