Reckless Compression

by Sam Moe


Two places I can’t trust you with my heart: here, between
wet cove rocks, you’re working through the idea of strelitzia
reginae in the afternoon, I’m distracted by flower, leaf, low
reef, the spindlebeak is blue and between the two of us I
think we could outlast the storm. Will you come over later
to help me board up my windows?


I keep forgetting things. For example, the next place I can’t
trust you—is it near the edges of water, or the top of an old
bridge? Either way, if you pushed me in, I would hit my head
on the rocks. I wonder what would happen first: anger, or my
heart stopping. Either way, these days I can’t believe myself
and the love I still feel for you? Who told me this was a good


Without you I won’t survive the winter. What else is new?
between salt-licked streets are dark green buildings, every
windowpane is coated in moss, the storm lingers overhead,
the rain has barely begun and already I can’t see. You’re the
kind of person who would bite my hand if I offered it to help,
you would sooner start a fire than talk through things with me,
I’m sure you’re going to let the flood in. Already I see you
are wearing too-tall rain boots, extra cigarettes sealed in a
plastic case in the back of your car.


It would taste good, you know, the coconut ice cream you
refuse to let me try because you think you’ve failed the
recipe, I see your faded shape hunched over the sink
chipping away at the sweetness, some shards fall and your
cat licks at the coconut crystals, she’s one of your many
weapons, can I ask why you’ve stuck around this long,
I wouldn’t mind if you told me I'm good at holding knives
during dinner, you just can’t see I’m shaking beneath
the table, I’m haunted by your promises and threats.


The moon doesn’t care if the house goes out to sea.
We’re reading in the window, which you hate, proximity
and coziness, you’d rather be outside gathering samples
from the ocean, it has washed up hundreds of sand dollars
onto the porch, the walkway is becoming so overcrowded
I can see the specific pin holes of the astriclypeus, the center
of eccentric sand, the fellaster is so bronze I wonder if you’ll
take it inside. Instead, you shut the curtains. Screw the storm,
you say.


This isn’t about forests and hills, the fact that you said I know
nothing, or the time you pulled me over by my blazer lapels,
once you touched someone else’s hand in front of me and I
almost passed out. I see what you’re saying, maybe this is
my problem, maybe I should beg the witch down the street
for a potion that might turn me into a tiny leach. I’m sorry,
I didn’t mean to say a hungry, bloody thing. I meant maybe
I’d be better off as a jaw. That’s not right, a paw, a claw, a
sea urchin, or perhaps a tiny vial of violet-hued poison.


I tell you nothing of my dreams of magic, the way others
come with soft shawls, their hands wrinkled, I don’t
know who they’re related to but they seem to love me,
they’re trying to coax me into the bog but when I make
to leave I’m awake, instantly, next to you. I thought you
told me you wanted to sleep on the floor, thought you
wanted to linger like a shadow or a knotted rug, thought
you wanted distance. Is this because I can’t get your name
out of my pen?


So you’re angry autumn is over. Overnight, the house
turns haunted. Bits of reef have billowed between floor-
boards, there is a sea turtle asleep on the couch. You’re
more concerned about the poltergeists banging pots and
pans together in the bathroom, there is a mother-shaped
phantom who won’t stop crying at the edge of the bed,
I can’t tell who’s more upset, myself lurking in the hall
and trying to seduce your older sister or you, who is
both a god and an ordinance, dancing with your face
all screwed up with the ghost of your father’s father’s
An art piece with an orange foreground and a blue background. It looks like a dark beach.

Baía do Guajará

by Guilherme Bergamini

Sam Moe is the first-place winner of Invisible City’s Blurred Genres contest in 2022, and the 2021 recipient of an Author Fellowship from Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Her first chapbook, “Heart Weeds,” is out from Alien Buddha Press and her second chapbook, “Grief Birds,” is forthcoming from Bullshit Lit in April 2023. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram as @SamAnneMoe.

Reporter photographic and visual artist, Guilherme Bergamini is Brazilian and graduated in Journalism. For more than two decades, he has developed projects with photography and the various narrative possibilities that art offers. The works of the artist dialogue between memory and social political criticism. He believes in photography as the aesthetic potential and transforming agent of society. Awarded in national and international competitions, Guilherme Bergamini participated in collective exhibitions in 49 countries.

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