1. A murder of crows shatters the twilight, over the river under the full moon.
  2. Blood soaks through your sheets on the morning of a new start.
  3. The numbers you divine from the stars spell a phone number you dread.
  4. That number shatters your start with a mass of text messages.
  5. The apologies in the texts regard not your pain, but a victim’s maudlin lament of their own cruelty.
  6. “It will never happen again.”
  7. “It will never happen again.”
  8. “It will never happen again.”



A girl waits for me
at the back of the ocean,
where the churning blackness meets the wallpaper sky.
She has been calling my entire life.
Some days she splashes ashore,
caressing my feet as I laugh.
Some days she crashes into me.
My chest empties and everything
around and inside becomes her.
But sometimes she pulls away,
and as the sun bakes the wet sand,
I wonder if she was ever there.

I’ve restrained myself
from going after her.
I’ve turned to men on land,
convincing them to keep
me warm and dry.
I hoped we could build
a little house together,
safe enough to watch
the waves in peace.
A kindergartner’s drawing
of a home on the water.
No man is an island,
every man an island to me.

I became an island,
desolate and unreachable,
but finally surrounded by waves.
I can see the spot
where the wallpaper meets the sea,
and as I step into the water,
I am free.


King of the Rain

Twilight heavy eyes,
Delicate as a broken wrist.
Use my vertebrae for your rosary.
Ask them to forgive you
of the mess you’ve left for us.

Suffocating pine,
Heavy as the boots on my feet.
Sinking under the weight of your ghost
Into muck and fallen leaves,
Mixed to colors you’ll never see.

With plastic flowers and petrified skin,
A fake sun guards the king of the rain.
The world has forgotten your soul,
The godhead rock I’ve been chained to,
Where I’ll sing until your voice spills from my mouth.


Jenny Gruber is a writer by day, a pastry chef by night, and a hostage of Sunrise, Florida all the time. Their work has previously appeared in Buttout Zine and Expat Press, and they recently self-published two zines of poetry and art. More of their work can be found at