Creative Writing

‘Trees Speak’ by Jessica Michael – FERAL: A Journal of Poetry and Art

We climb granite while my friend tells me of a man he knew.

This man wandered the desert looking for reasons to come home.

One night, struck, he found an alien

(this may not be true, but we’re by the lake now

and I like the story).

His first thought (which would not be mine)

was to ask how the alien found us, believing the planet lonely

in space as he was.

By the trees. Can’t you hear them singing?

Maybe he lied but I remember

the first woman who ever came across honey

in the li

The GO Order by Jessica Michael

They evacuate a town 20 miles south of here,

as fire swallows gully after gully.

I take a walk, count butterflies,

ignore the plume that smears

an entire quadrant of sky.

I try not to think about

the incompleteness of my bug-out bag—

toothpaste without brush, money without license—

the inadequacy of tires as lifesavers.

I don’t want to know

how twigs crack like bones,

how smoke rakes through lungs,

how trees are lungs.

I need my haven,

my nest of appointments kept.


Archibald and the Mermaid by Jessica Michael

“I have known salmon to be particularly talkative during the full moon. The same cannot be said for tuna, who are notoriously closed-mouthed, so to speak. Unless, of course, one knows the right questions to ask about their ancestral history. They simply adore genealogy, and will go on for hours reciting bloodlines and the like. In fact, I once engaged a school of tuna in a discussion about a common ancestor and ended up missing the South Equatorial current to Brazil. I had to swim all the way to

Salome: A Retelling of the Biblical Story. {fiction}

Long ago, the story of Salome and John the Baptist was recorded in the Bible.

Legend tells that she performed the Dance of the Seven Veils for her stepfather, King Herod, on his birthday. This pleased him, and he gave an oath that she could ask him for whatever she wished. She consulted her mother, who instructed her to ask for the head of the king’s political prisoner, John the Baptist, on a platter — Salome’s mother bore a grudge against him for opposing her marriage.

This is how Salome beca