Urban Unicorn by Mel Bikowski; for more information, visit

for soft long ears

by Laura Theis

she says my mare is quiet

they say affection is inconceivable and dim
they say possessions are sombre and vile
they give dark speeches in between mouthfuls of cake

she says not your mare but mine

they say each moment knows only how to
separate death from sharper death
they say bad ideas are shadow flowers

she says my mare is a fleck-coated fact

they say then why not kiss every little colt forlorn
all those lost ones between steed and stallion
they tell her to truly dance is to give something away

she says my mare is not a trinket

she says if you listen
the listening outlives
our dreadful language

About Laura Theis

Laura Theis is the winner of the 2018 Hammond House International Literary Award for Poetry and the 2017 AM Heath Prize. Having grown up in Germany and writing in her second language, she has gained a Distinction in the Mst Creative Writing at Oxford University and her work has been broadcast and/or published in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, and the U.S. Her poetry appears in many different places such as Strange Horizons, The London Reader, and Rise Up Review, as well as in anthologies from Three Drops Press, Hammond House and the Live Canon International Poetry Award Anthology, for which she was shortlisted by Liz Berry. Her website is http://lauratheis.weebly.com/