Revelation 051

by Beth Gilstrap and Jim Warner Issue: 2022 Special Issue on Identity

In thigh-high vinyl, a platform above you, stomping smoke into halos, palpitations ripple into the small, into the crumbling sheetrock, into the sticker-plastered, into the horse throat, into the water-scared cornea. My wig sweats the nape, creasing the paint at the whole club’s temples. One day you’ll wind up curled in my lap, knuckles receding into a puff of flesh, a whiskey and snot soaked towel balled up beneath you, and all I can think about is the photo I saw of you once, knock-kneed and rail-thin holding your father’s pistol, adults caught mid-laugh, all those blurred open mouths in the background and the curl of your bare toes, looking for comfort in plush red carpet.

scarlet firethorn      in my side



Beth Gilstrap and Jim Warner

Beth Gilstrap (she/her) is the author of I Am Barbarella (2015) from Twelve Winters Press. Her work has been selected as Longform.org’s Fiction Pick of the Week and chosen by Dan Chaon for inclusion in the Best Microfiction Anthology 2019. She holds an MFA from Chatham University. Her stories, essays, and hybrids have appeared in Ninth Letter, the Minnesota Review, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Stream Lit, and Wigleaf, among others. Born and raised in the Charlotte area, she has recently relocated to Louisville.

Jim Warner (he/him) has appeared in various journals including The North American Review, RHINO, Hobart, No Tokens, New South, and is the author of two collections from PaperKite Press. His most recent collection, Actual Miles, was published in 2018 Sundress Publications. He currently lives in Louisville, KY with his wife, Aubrie Cox.