Before We Go Any Further,
 

I should mention my bad tattoos and that period
I could sit on my hair. Cutting it off


was my worst case of memory loss.
Too well do I remember being a tick inside an ear,


a Sunday School lesson put on hold
while the pastor heated a pushpin with a Zippo.


No god spoke, but I could taste one or more
methods of punishment. Imagine space junk.


Imagine you are born wearing a scarf of flesh.
It’s not about you, mother. The body betrays


when dance is no longer appropriate,
when new songs we didn’t pay to hear bounce


vowels off the walls of our skulls,
so what’s a little modification and dismemberment?


We damn well know that it’s cheaper
to clean with rotgut vodka. If struggle begets meaning


tie my violin to a brick and throw it in the river.
I don’t want to sound like myself.


What I want is to kiss like tourniquets
and leave fingerprints on both your hands.

Shane Chergosky was born in Minnesota where he was raised on stuffed cabbage and heavy metal. He was once publicly shamed by actor/comedian Hannibal Buress. Recently his work has appeared in South Florida Poetry Review and Gingerbread House Lit Mag. He is an MFA candidate at George Mason University.

Lucia Duque was born in the cradle of a family of Colombian artists. Due to the violent circumstances of the country, her family moved to Malaga, Spain when she was only four years old. She grew up between paint brushes and visits to museums where she learned the importance of art in society and the importance of sincerity in painting, especially the value of expressing social injustices. That is what has marked her heart the most and what moves her to paint. Although she studied muralism at the "La Palma" School of Arts in Madrid, Spain, she considers herself a self-taught artist. During the last few years, Lucia has presented her paintings in exhibition halls and national museums (Malaga, Seville, Madrid, Bilbao, Barcelona). Her works can be found in private collections in the United States and Europe. She’s also organized collective exhibitions for social issues like “United for Freedom” against sex trafficking. With the recent refugee crisis, Lucia felt challenged to visit the island of Lesbos in Greece. That experience impacted her deeply and can be seen in her current works. Her newest collection “Stealth in the Mist” is just a glimpse of all these thoughts that have been embedded deep inside of her for years. They are her most intimate and personal paintings lived out in silence. In them she expresses her experiences as a mother, a woman, and an immigrant.

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