“Floss” & “Taking the Train to Atlantic City and Back Like I’m F. Scott Fitzgerald Going to the French Riviera” by Audrey Lee

Abstract art piece/graphic score. The lines of a single music staff curl and twist in loops around each other. Black ink brushings move horizontally across the page. Teeth shapes are in groupings on various parts of the staff, some filled in, some with sharp or flat markings. In the top left, a pale yellow and pastel blue watercolor with ash glued on top, and a gold circle outline in black ink. At the bottom, a large fluorescent pink watercolor with empty circles on top of it. On te borrom right, a splatter of aquamarine, orange-brown and black watercolors. Some vibrant yellow across ht emiddle of the page. In the center, a black triangle with root-like shapes extending below. In the top right corner, red and pink watercolor bisected by a rectangle with empty and black halves.


Hey. I drink vodka
straight from the bottle.
I take small, white pills
that look like teeth
but aren’t. Like how you
look like my dad, but you
aren’t. Do I have daddy issues?
Does it matter? I’m hot,
anyways. Hey. My teeth are
a mouthful of small,
white ghosts. I pull them
to be interesting,
like orthodontia:
tie sewing thread
to the kitchen door, yank
between poisoned roots,
worn enamel, slam.
Do you want a drink?
That’s all I can swallow
anyways, as another tooth
leaves hollow sockets in my
gums. I think hockey players
make good boyfriends,
especially with their
warm teeth knocking on ice.
Do you play? Does it
matter? Hey. Do you want
to take me in your
mouth and chew —
spit me out with the
taste of Listerine
and foul matter?
There’s nothing good
about decay, baby,
however seething,
bleeding, clean.

Taking the Train to Atlantic City and Back Like I’m F. Scott Fitzgerald Going to the French Riviera

The Flyers lost another game last night. Speaking of
Philadelphia, I am on the train alone from the day in Atlantic City.

Anyways. It is raining again. Two women are talking
about horse breeding. I am listening to The Microphones.

Speaking of being alone, I wish you could see the beach
in Atlantic City where I ashed a cigarette and now

I smell like smoke and dead fish, and how tacky
all the casinos are, and how the vinyl seats on the train

are the same red as raw meat but I’m almost back to Philadelphia,
anyways, where I will tell you about my dad texting me

“Go to the Borgata but don’t gamble!” because what else
would I do at the Borgata, anyways? I know I’m wasting

my words like coins in a slot machine talking about all this shit.
Speaking of Philadelphia, it doesn’t wish to be anywhere else

like how Atlantic City probably wants to be the French Riviera
of New Jersey and speaking of the French Riviera,

I am the F. Scott Fitzgerald of the Jersey Shore, except
I’m not. I’m alone, somewhere near 30th Street Station.

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Audrey Lee is the author of the poetry collections Disjecta Membra (Bottlecap Press, 2022) and Probably, Angels (Maverick Duck Press, 2020). She holds a B.A. in creative writing and American studies with a music and media concentration from Franklin & Marshall College. Her work has been featured The Sierra Nevada Review, Glass: a Journal of Poetry, DIALOGIST, The Indiana Review, and Teen Vogue. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and you can find her online at www.audrey-lee.vercel.app.

Amar Lal is a Canadian musician and sound engineer living in Oakland, CA. He spent 10 years in the New York City music scene performing in bands such as Big Ups, Montes Rook, and the Electric Eel Multimedia Ensemble. Amar currently releases music under his own name and runs MACRO, a mastering and post-production studio. You can find him @ummm_r or at www.amarlal.info.