Let's think in 52
— a poem by Marly Saunders

speak of spades
oh, pesky shapes
falling flat-faced on
concrete. tell of those 
days. women are men.
spades are something.
just like trees. we are
trees, if not spades. the
spades have only three
points, count with me




three points, where
two lines meet.
if only you were a line
not a point, not a shape,
not something spade shaped
like pancakes in the shine of
morning lights.

spades are depth when
running on knowing
has fallen out of the
curriculum. you’re just a
circumference, close enough.
you are just hollow tree trunks
where elephants go to cry
fat tears of 
because that’s what you’ll never take.

never take tears.

you’ll never take tears for me
because I am a spade too
when I draw little dots
on paper too wide for the 
words wrapping back 
around her 
shoulder blades.

you are a blade.

tell me again how to slice
off loving but leaving all
the good bits because
sweetie, that is me.

I wish you knew that
your spade is just
nothing because
it means you.

I wish I knew that spades mean nothing because spades just mean you.

please give me an eraser or ten
because a thousand prison
uniforms will never scrape 
away this soap stain
when men riot in the
streets to take their
books back. 
when women wait in the
streets to get their
rings back.

take your ring when 
you take that damn 
spade and I hope some
survey finds you dead 
in winter with a black
king jacket wrapped
around your ankles
hiding every printing
press shape.

I hope some future
finds you cowering 
because shapes are
just shapes like 
your button nose 
or knuckle line.
give me hope 
give me 52 cards
give me 4 shapes
give me 2 colors
I swear you never will.

The Poet: Marly Saunders is a student in Northern Virginia. She has been writing poetry and short fiction for several years. She is also part of the editing team for an online literary magazine and a student compilation. 

The Artist: Luka Fisher is a Los Angeles based painter known for his frequent collaborations, mixed media projects, and work with musicians. He has designed forthcoming releases for LA based bands Feral Kizzy and Death Hymn Number 9. His work was also featured in Feral Kizzy's latest music "22 A Month" which you can view hereHe has also collaborated with a wide range of artists, writers and photographers including---Dash Hobbeheydar, Brian Pulido, Brenda Carsey, and Tate Hemlock. His work has been shown in Los Angeles, Detroit, Phoenix and is held in private collections in the United States and Russia.