_Facial Recognition_ by Aerik “phaentompoet” Francis

iHave doubted my smile–
if it existed in the face
of those mouthing

of my ubiquitous grin.
but iDo know when
my smile smiles– feeling

the evidence in its departure.
here, it wasn’t the picturesque
Los Angeles January Sun,

but a removal of a tether’s
never questioned presence.
such a wonderful good-bye

greeting a lucky camera.
happy, it seems, visited
me in spontaneous burst.

my personal captured volta–
iCan hear a cackling Yes
so loud iForget the sound

was always an exclaimed No
so closed-eyed, so mouth-wide,
so smiled it blurred–

––This work was first published by Mixed Mag

phaentompoet aka Aerik Francis is a Queer Black & Latinx poet & teaching artist based in Denver, Colorado, USA. They are a Canto Mundo poetry fellow and a The Watering Hole fellow. They are also a poetry reader for Underblong poetry journal and a coordinator with Slam Nuba. Aerik recently released an EP of poetry-songs called SYZYGY (available now on bandcamp), and they have a chapbook titled BODYELECTRONIC forthcoming April 2022 from Trouble Department Press. They have poetry published widely, links of which may be found at their website Find them on IG/TW/youtube/soundcloud @phaentompoet

Learn more about Aerik’s upcoming workshop HUMAN//BODY: BODY POLITICS & BODY POETICS.

Tiny Gift Guide

Tiny Spoon has a talented community, so why not check out what everybody has created this year to find some dazzling gifts for the holidays?

Tiny Spoon Gifts


Issue/Workshop Combos

Winter Solstice Workshop and Workbook

Patreon Membership, Subscription, and Workshops

Friends of Tiny Spoon

Over the past year, we’ve met and collaborated with other organizations. Check out their recent publications!

Wisdom Body Collective

collective.aporia / *apo-press

Perennial Press

Inverted Syntax

Publications Featuring Contributors

Our contributors have been busy! Many have recent publications and features in other literary magazines. If you’ve liked what you’ve seen in Tiny Spoon, you’ll love their full works!

Full-length manuscripts:

White Card, (photo book), by Guilherme Bergamini

Literary Magazines with Features:

featuring Shannon Gardner
featuring Shannon Gardner
featuring Wilfried Schubert
featuring Wilfried Schubert and Moira Walsh
featuring Moira Walsh
featuring Wilfried Schubert

Gifts for Writers

Hand-bound books by BINDbyBIND


Crocodile Reflections Art Print by Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier, appeared in Tiny Spoon Ecology