TASSLYN MAGNUSSON received her MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults at Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Broad River Review, Room Magazine, The Mom Egg Review, The Raw Art Review: A Journal of Storm and Urge, and Red Weather Online. Her chapbook, “defining,” from dancing girl press was published in January 2019. She lives in Prescott, WI with her husband and two kids and two dogs.
Beside the all-night cop heavy bakery, a
lunging balsamic flavored tongue slid
under my front teeth while powered sugared fingers
Earned access under my coat.
Nearby on the steps of the Church of the Assumption, an
Unassuming mother nodded at me, knowing the oozing warmth of a
New donut was much more my style.
Allied with alcohol and
buoyed by star anise power, I wasn’t yet
Instead I was feeding my
Nocturnal lust where my naked
Thighs posed as bait
Holding promise of an
Ever expanding universe for the right predator.
Tenderly I hold the piece, maybe the bishop,
etched with diagonal knife lines.
“Quality work, promise,” he repeats.
Under the chess display sits a bottle
I can’t stop looking at. I even
Lick my lips and rip my eyes away. Jono needs a
a gift from my first foreign foray.
Poured into a glass over ice
Eliciting snaps and pops as it
Percolates its 100
Proof into the waiting 7Up.
Easy drink, you say, like a candy cane.
Refills free, when you’re ready. I
Make a note, free is never free
In this lounge. You’ve really
Never been drunk? You ask,
Teeth glinting, a distance finder, a
Signal of my eta to yes.
Channeling my inner innocent, I choose
High fantasy and lean into your
Neck whispering, never.
And let my lips linger
Past that first whisper. Practically
Panting, you pour the free refills
Straight from your mouth into mine.
The Day God Suggested Pop
God found me in Israel.
Not in any of the usual places.
Calvary. Gesthemethe. Not even Galilee.
God found me where CNN
shoots their standard Jerusalem panoramic
on the Mount of Olives. Finishing
a bottle of absinthe with the last man standing,
our tour bus driver.
“Time for bed,” he said and grabbed my hand.
“I can’t wait,” he muttered and smashed me
against the wall, tongue down my throat.
My tongue licking his teeth, looking for
one more sip of the liquorish
delight. His hands marking my edges.
I only asked for God one time as he
Twisted my hands above my head.
She didn’t waste any time.
God whirled in and shoved me
to the ground and pinched me until I cried.
“Trouble,” the tour bus driver said,
looking at the snotty mess on the floor.
When I caught my breath,
I was kinda mad about missing
slurping alcohol from wherever.
God wasn’t a fan of my attitude.
“I can’t be always flying down
to give you a hand,” she said.
“I’m God after all. And Israel’s a busy place.
Look at the beauty and holy all around.
BTW – You might consider a coke next time.”
From the Editor:
We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.
Founded in late 2011, In Parentheses prides itself upon analysis of the current condition of intelligence in the minds of these young people, and building a hypothesis for one looming question: what comes after Post-Modernism?
The idea for this magazine stems from a simple conversation regarding the aforementioned question, which drew out the need to identify our generation’s place in literary history.
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