triangles under both my eyes like shiners. today is the day my fever un-shells itself, yolksome. i watch my step
in the gnome garden, everywhere doors too small for my littlest finger. god & grimm & goose, interchangeable to me,
a child spooning peas from my waterbed mattress. i wish to live in a pumpkin home, full of seed & moss-blood. i’m getting
cyanotic, turning violent, plump for the picking. wake me on the morning i swallow my baby teeth — an initiation
to pawn my abjection. i’m destined to be the old woman who lives in a shoe, sans children, sans bread-soup. i’ll keep
my glass eye on the tips of my fingers so i can see it — how i will exit. i was born knowing i’d one day birth a daughter
& i’ll die in capricorn, probably, snow in my house of boots, having never birthed a thing.
girl gathering flowers swallowed up by earth and taken to lower world
After Thompson Motif: F92.2.1. †F92.2.1.
a pentagram bloomed over my britney poster — i mock, there’s bosch in my veins & all the little dolls tunnel
my head & hollow my vision for samhain. a blow storm comes through new jersey & suddenly the world fancies itself a garden
of secret. i gather my callow lilies & i gather wet flowers, thumb- toads cresting their petals. i drown the roses happily,
headfirst. this is a prize for the veil-born & i am drownless, deathless, never to know the rose’s underbreath
when sogged by its plunge. this meddling & this melting makes my hunger’s wings crisp in the toy-sun.
i crave dandelion, wine on a gingham blanket, cheeses i’ve ripened myself with my own mind of smut. take me
to your salvation in the bubble of a draft lamp, well-stenciled in floral — the soil-belly rots
all my offerings nutritious.
About The Author: Kailey Tedesco
Kailey Tedesco is the author of She Used to be on a Milk Carton (April Gloaming Publishing) and Lizzie, Speak (winner of White Stag Publishing's 2018 MS contest). Her newest collection, FOREVERHAUS, will be released from White Stag in 2020. She is a senior editor for Luna Luna Magazine, and she teaches an ongoing course on the witch in literature at Moravian College. You can find her work featured or forthcoming in Electric Literature, Black Warrior Review, Gigantic Sequins, Blood Bath Zine, Fairy Tale Review, and more. For further information, please follow @kaileytedesco on twitter.
There it was. It was that faint tune. The tune of a song playing on a jukebox from the back room in a dingy bar within the ghost town of a dream. The mysterious sound meandered through Edmund’s head while he lied wide awake during the early hours of the morning—the hours of the morning that probably shouldn’t be called the morning. Football season was over now and Edmund was alone for a while. He hadn’t even left the house in possibly a week, and his phone might as well have been cast into oblivion. He’d come to the conclusion that he liked it that way and hated it at the same time. And that protruding facial scruff—he was definitely aware of it. But it wasn’t a fashion statement.
He rolled out of bed, and clumsily trudged down the stairs. His weight against the creaking wood was bearish. He slipped his undersized slippers onto his feet, and stepped out onto the backyard patio. The air was stagnant and the ground was slightly damp from a prior polka-dotted drizzle of rain. Edmund gazed out at the world. The cityscape and the sky seemed to have traded places. One was filled with a sprawling concentration of stars, and the other was black and empty.
Edmund lowered his eyelids and slowly inhaled and exhaled. He placed his fingers on his temples and felt the beats of his pulses align. There were pains that he couldn’t rememberif he’d ever experienced before or not. Maybe that’s just how things were supposed to feel.
As the sound in his head grew louder and clearer, Edmund opened his eyes and looked over at his neighbor’s silhouette and wondered if he, too, was hearing the same tune.
About The Author - Zach Murphy
Zach Murphy is a Hawaii-born, multi-faceted writer who somehow ended up in the charming but often chilly land of St. Paul, Minnesota. His stories have appeared in Haute Dish, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, WINK, and the Wayne Literary Review. He lives with his wonderful wife Kelly and loves cats and movies.