Delicate Emissions Vol. 1, Issue 3

June Solstice Poetry Zine

a large tree with many intertwining branches and wide roots shines under a bright and sunny sky
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Happy Solstice! This issue, we offer you ten poems by eight poets. Once again, our issues aren’t themed, but when reviewing submissions, an editor gets a vibe for what’s going to go down. Our poets all had life cycles and transformation on their hearts, and we’re thrilled to share their takes on birth, adolescence, aging, and societal changes.

In “fingerprints,” Aashaya draws us in to consider our relation to nature, what possession is, and how some dream for physical change where our outside body matches our inside body. We feel this again in “transitional ghazal,” (read about ghazals here); Avery Yoder-Wells explores “being trans, bodies and what to do with them. Hope, fear, acceptance. The complexity of living.” Lilian Rose McCarthy’s “Twine” and Evy Couling’s “Artemis” each visit adolescence in dark, knowing, and palpable ways. In part three of “post-suburban gothic,” Zoe Chuang’s narrator assesses the damage and debris of suburban childhood as they finish high school and prepare to move on.

Steve Denehan’s “Rain Is Coming” addresses aging, plainly and poignantly describing a simple change in behavior and communication. In “commodity frontier,” Max Henninger considers selfies and “the algorithm” that seems to drive the modern economy. Finally, we have a set of three poems by Natasha Murdock that intimately share the dangers that both infants and people with uteri face in the American health care system.

I probably say this every issue, but it’s always true: we humbly receive the gift of beautiful submissions from brave and lovely poets. May your reading today bring thoughtfulness, understanding, and hope.

Dusti RWF, Editor-in-chief

A Series

By Natasha Murdock (she/her)

an ominous cloudy sky
Photo by Leonardo Yip on Unsplash

skin to skin, head to chest

who are you you

with the tiniest ridge-dent burrowing in your eyebrow from resting wrongly, sideways-ly,

but who are they to say — wrongly —

who are we


late in the cul-de-sac

we circle in nights for night after night

we circle to soften to open

to break the wave of body in body

we circle to prepare departure

it is late & now the moon is always full we open our mouth & the question pours out

how can the moon remain full

& our answer circles back to us

night after night unnerving & pushing the moon is full, the moon is full


the presentation

my body melts around a high scream screaming

to be put back, put back please, in the mother

it is wrong we know she & I but

she’s here / can you hear / almost 10 pounds on my chest here’s our baby and I am trying

streaming face straining

where is she

but I can’t even lift my head to see her it’s heavy like her like me

Natasha Murdock is a writer, a partner, a parent & apparently, unexpectedly a dog-person. Find her on Twitter: @notevenjokingmr.

watercolor painting of a misty forest with ominous looking trees
Photo by Daniel Ap:


By Evy Couling (she/her)

When I was eleven, my cramps were so painful that I slept in the forest, covering my mouth with

wool mittens so no one could hear me scream: This is the truth, and this is the poem.

Evy Couling grew up in Northern Michigan, and now lives and teaches in Arcata, California. You can find her on Twitter @EvyCouling.

baby’s breath flowers displayed against a shadow of a window; the flowers are in a large spool of twine instead of a traditional vase
Photo by Anete Lusina:


By Lilian Rose McCarthy (she/her/they/them)

I haven’t changed

Since twelve, since

Thirteen, since eleven

I hide and

In me hides so much poison

I like tiny things

They are holy

The most sublime

Is delicate

Lilian Rose McCarthy is a disabled, queer, nonbinary woman who lives in Boston, MA and Dublin, Ireland.

white orchids against a deep blue background
Photo from


By Aashaya (she/her)

i suppose it is the distance of the sky

from the merciless hands of the people,

that shelters its magnificence.

and i suppose, of this beauty,

i was made to be a watcher, a desirer and

a lover, although never a possessor;

for my hands today are coarse and jagged.

and my fingerprints stain like blotches of ink

over every page of tender poetry.

still, i hope someday when i am wiser,

poetry will be soothing in the caress of my voice,

orchids will bloom in the embrace of my palm,

and a heart will seek safety in my softened arms.

Aashaya is a teenager who loves poetry, dyeing her hair various colours, and the rain.

a worn-out leather armchair in an abandoned, deteriorating cabin
Photo by Zafer Erdoğan:

post-suburban gothic (part three of four)

By Zoe Chuang (she/her/they/them)

that street there, named after a horse, used to

be the home of sprinklers and backyard playhouses,

machetes that got taken and basement classrooms

made of barbie doll dreamhouses.

i lost my first tooth on that street, a schoolbus casualty,

the brown bus seat taking something i would

inevitably regrow.

if this is what is left after the seventeen-year storm,

it is a shame that there is no tangible proof we were really

ever here.

a yearbook photo with a

misspelled name in the subtitle. a rain-soaked cap and a gown

hanging in the closet of

a room you’ve outgrown.

Zoe Chuang is a longtime poet, aspiring librarian, and sitcom enthusiast from Alabama. They were the 2022 Collegiate Winner in the Dismantle the Patriarchy contest for her poem “an elegy for medusa.” In 2019, she was the Category IV winner in Saint Mary’s College California’s Center for Environmental Literacy River of Words Poetry Contest for “Creekwater Girl.” Parts 1 and 2 of this poem appear in Issues 1 and 2, respectively. The final part will appear in the September issue.

a gradient color change starting at the top with light blue, then yellow, as if to mimic the sky, finally landing on a dark brown
Photo by Mudassir Ali:

transitional ghazal

By Avery Yoder-Wells (they/them)

when your body unsticks / refuses hello, break

only bottles of lacquer / live out a mellow break.

bathroom bonfires / sear eye-lined faces

your best skirt yells / fire, your hands bellow, break.

sunrise pink bubble spools / crammed under cuticles

stretching flame-taffy / the skyline’s sweet yellow break.

kinship in grand central / dysphoria in hand-metal

love cracks through the selfsame / kissing a fellow break.

clean blood from your bed / allow yourself eyes

met in the mirror / i am in-progress. i say, “hello, break.”

Avery (they/them) is a trans, queer poet. They enjoy word games and love. Find them on Twitter: @averyotherwise.

a rusty metal gear wheel that looks like a dirty sun
Photo by Laker :

commodity frontier

By Max Henninger (he/him)

all those selfies like so many

porn stills — interchangeable.

obeisantly inviting their split

second substitution.

serial emblems of an ongoing

letdown. or surface dynamics

of an algorithm busily solving

for a stable outcome.

Max Henninger is a writer and translator based in Berlin. Find him online at Linktree:, IG: @tower_of_days, and Twitter: @henninger1978.

View of sun setting against a lavender sky through a field of reeds
Photo by Bojan Popovic:

Rain is Coming

By Steve Denehan (he/him)

When it rains

he tells me

that he cannot wait for the sun


when the sun shines

he tells me

that the rain is coming


my father is eighty-four

nearly eight-five

he was not always like this

Steve Denehan lives in Kildare, Ireland with his wife Eimear and daughter Robin. Find him online at ,, and



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Delicate Emissions

Delicate Emissions


home of poetry/essays/fiction by dusti rwf & dafna hagans-slezak; Disability in the Margins; & delicate emissions, quarterly diy poetry zine ed. by dusti rwf.