“Mocha Panties” by Arielle Greenberg


You have your skinny pants that you never wear
but that are the barometer. You have your fat pants
that you wear more than you need to. You have your
period pants that are dark and thick and forgiving
and comforting.

You have your period panties.

I have a new resolution not to wear my period
panties at non-period times. I have gotten into the
habit of wearing only my period panties and pretty
much never wearing my other panties, my nice
panties. My resolution is to wear nice panties every
day, even the days I don’t think l’m going to have sex,
even on the days when l’m going to ride my bike.

Once, in the locker room at the YWCA after tot
swim class, I saw another mom who was wearing
beautiful, chic mocha panties and a matching bra
even though she had just come from swim class and
had a kid. The panties and bra looked French, and so
did the mom. I swore right there and then to wear
my nice panties every day, even though my nicest
panties aren’t as nice as those panties were.

But then I got pregnant again and never felt like
wearing nice panties.

So that was three years ago. Exactly three years and
I am finally hoping to make good on my promise of
nice panties.

Thus far I have kept my nice panties promise for
about a week and a half. It’s been difficult. Almost
every day I reach for my period panties but I haven’t
relented. It does feel good to wear nice panties,
though it pains my heart to get on a bike or go to
sleep without sex when I am wearing them.

Even when the nice panties are not two-hundred-
dollar hand-washable silk tap pants, nice panties
are a conundrum.


If you enjoyed this poem, please support the poet and purchase Arielle Greenberg’s fascinating, honest, nuanced and insightful book “Locally Made Panties”.

Dennis Doherty


Have I seen you bikini'd?
The air solidifies around the sound
Of your waxed body     A love song 

The men smoldering on the sidewalk
Have a conversation about Hades 
Reduced to vapor     Southwest Virginia

Encasement of cultural cache in nylon
Tied in a neat knot between keen
Shoulder blades      Pale duvet on fire

Wikipedia Poem, No. 167



“The oracle would not speak, save in the character / Of someone else: an uncle, aunt, or brother. / And it was said: the menace of his authority / He dares not reveal to himself, trusting another.” John Ashbery


          for those rooms which
   never social host 
        phone warrants 
      tend to the roast
bearing no rules spent pent and
     fans there exists that young woman 
the yellow dress in traction protocols 
    maintains a phone call observed
documented the renaissance 
in practice is an option 
without respect for wallpaper
        ever else is chipped but not without tack   death
       in practice whatever tact itself 
        is pursued elsewhere
        wet with witte
        with women senior with support 
     applied mobile rules 
programmatic phones our 
          privates ambulatory their physicality 
i know runs incited as time as terror as
forms platforms forums and placenta
women never enough 
wont of their demands 
users scan wit for whit

Wikipedia Poem, No. 165


“Somehow I always do manage but / You found them for me, what / I love, lakes and paintings.” John Ashbery


         keeping her insulating placed 
with grains
          poly-appropriate barbed wire 
placed by using 
    her crushes 
    to their capabilities 
         can be 
tended tendered 

        bee placed 
of sand 
      courses above 60 cm 

make problematic
matter mass burlap mild climate 
change spirit 
costly condiments then
      types of clay barbed wire with a corbel 
organic matter skin 
the home's 
  exterior such 
clay-containing policy
of spirit

Wikipedia Poem, No. 125


You say
puff pastry you say
tax credit is a bulldog

by now she’s
probably lost in traffic
skin darker than guns
my father’s obsessed

it will be hungry
that guy who
makes hot sauce

climbs up my forefinger and into
whatever the girls’ mortal wound —
And I’m all like, bent, reaching
raise my hand to the horizon, beside

el niño spirit; and the exploded
my palm — safety — I straighten, &
down into the garbage where I roach

the Willis Tower, comparing, &
the vile, beautiful blattaria leaves me
and scales its black terrace and ponders
its sudden, liberal transformation — soon

as a way to juxtapose the mundane
condition the banal, blue
body; the salted, post-, uncombed

She didn’t even
take it
or gibberish in a cafeteria line
or bleeding all over Italy.

with Stevie Ray Vaughan

Includes four lines from "I love winter nights..." by Paul Ferrell,
     published in "The Cosby Show" (2015) by Water of Life Press. 

Wikipedia Poem, No. 72


      protein contingent we halting giddy
      members are 
the Tanwars,” 
added the 

         since their 
          are put 
        undead to the 
crime increases, our business is that 
      a decade 
         ago colored.

The music. “We are members of 
   a circulating 
woman,” Mr. Tanwar — 
    known dusty 
lands. As an iron cloth, but in part of their village’s field of his 
    hand for strongmen with 
 clubs, who open the preventatives obscurity 
         vehicle dwelled Storm Group, plaque-sting 
city, on they 
        were not leave the 
Source: "Old India’s Village of Warriors Becomes Birthplace of Bouncers" New York Times, 2015-02-21, Retrieved 2015-05-14

wikipedia poem, no. 20


Adapted from a painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

boldness security

she discovers 
     envy no love no standing
don’t dangle 
     anything from the ash 
flash photography
      do you, dear undertow

pity cruelty
pride modesty 

    be quiet
flash photography
        does she 
    dangle anything
        never forget 
touch her 
own safety shame
  please be quiet
you can’t 
park here 
        safety shame

  please, feels free to 
hands before signing on the 

stop crying
          don’t dangle anything to empty the ledge
take a step back

        fear under surprise expect disrespect distand?
          dangle anything to touch her own safety

You Will Never See Her Again, No. 2

It’s unfair to compare the man to the woman one so complete the other bristling with prostate

But fairness was never one for this world
was born with a full head of hair
he took a long time to come out unfairly
his eyes as is normal turned brown
had been
blue in witness he unlearned swimming
never drowned

Had no teenage years
no earning years
no sweet nor equal years
but instead went straight to death
not with ceremony not with love not with passion

What eulogy now–

He went with truth which did nothing for
he went with satisfaction
too soon and sour.