Love in the Time of Sunnydale by Michael J Carter

Love in the Time of Sunnydale
                                                      -for Steven

My love for you is like Buffy dusting
another vampire with her favorite stake,
Mr. Pointy. Or it’s like Buffy beheading
one more demon, sword slicing some evil
lackey with a relentless arc, stopping
or at least stalling the nefarious dealings
meant undo her. That’s love in action:
sharpening sticks for battle, frying the undead
with holy water all while punning
and finishing first year psychology
late into the night. Taking down a secret
government op with its brilliant leader
and Frankenstein creation who is only undone
by a combination of magic and guile conjured
under less than ideal the circumstances—
a hostile take-over of the whole world
by demons. This is one difficult life: apocalypse,
apocalypse, apocalypse. My love for you eats
them for breakfast all while wearing stylish
but affordable boots while battling the Bringers,
harbingers of the first evil, acolytes of the worst
of the worst with their eyes stitched shut,
two crisscrossed x’s like kisses.


Michael J Carter is a poet and clinical social worker. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College he holds an MFA from Vermont College and an MSW from Smith. Poems of his have appeared in such journals as Boulevard, Ploughshares, MomEgg Review, Western Humanities Review, among many others. He spends his time walking his hounds and knitting.

Three Poems by Anne Babson


So much depends
A red hat about
Stitched in China
For Russia
Beside the white



The Shinto soundbyte
Smacked between bubblegum lips
Is irreligious.

Five beats, seven beats,
Five beats — and why should we think
This is not an ad?

Japanese culture
Owns the rights to bonsai verse.
Coke is it for us.



Whatever words say, bodies govern us,
Trapped by flesh, no matter which pretty speech.
But on Bourbon, bouncers don’t card this
Child corpse. They assume I’m auditioning.
I watch women spin on poles, cellulite
Jiggling while they twerk, fat nipples bouncing.
Louis and Lestat slip into the lounge,
But I am not hungry for the buffet.
I stole a wallet off my midnight snack
On Conti. I slip bills in g-strings, not
To satisfy appetites but to watch
Women’s thighs show me stretch marks and track marks
Through bronze spray tan, tattoos, and glitter sweat.

This book freezes me in glitter amber.
My child vampire body will never grow.
That’s not vampire blood. That’s vampire novel.
I ask Britni, the one I panty-stuffed
With twenty singles, to answer questions.
What’s her favorite book? She doesn’t read.
Not reading books traps, too, I see. Britni
Won’t reach fifti, my night vision tells me.
But what is your favorite book? Yes, you there!
And to what has it taught you to submit?


Anne Babson is the author of three full-length collections of poetry — The White Trash Pantheon, Polite Occasions, and Messiah. Her fourth collection, The Bunker Book, will be published in 2021 by Unsolicited Press. Her poems have appeared in literary journals on five continents. She lives and writes in New Orleans.