shred the durian

open with a knife,

or if you prefer

a soft tongue could be

a better-crafted

apparatus. do

ignore the smell, it’s

always there, hair or

rough skin split open

or wine on someone’s

late night excited

breath. peel it gently.

taste flesh dripping in

your mouth like mana.

major arcana

xviii: the moon



I swallow it.




jawbreaker craters soaking up spit

between breaths, adam’s apple as

croquet mallet hammering away face

blue night sweats swallow enough air—


you check on me, white light slicing

the room open, swordlike,

a surrogate for the sunlight at best.




I imagine what it must be like to exist

solely in order to orbit another.




the eye of emptiness eternally

fixes on me like a vanity mirror.

did Narcissus ever care whether

the pool’s gaze was reflective?
Would Prior’s dream have been

better if Harper wasn’t there?
         if Louis was(n’t) there?




the word lunatic exists because

the codependent tendencies of

the moon could make you sick

m. leon stewart (he/they) is a queer writer from pennsylvania. he is a library & archives worker by trade, and currently lives with his partner & their cat, mona, in lancaster (pa). previous & forthcoming publications include Fledgling Rag, Riggwelter Press, and East Jasmine Review. he can be found on twitter @mleonstewart.