Poem: katie hammel

Poem: katie hammel


When you are growing up,

Every single cell in you is trying to live:

Your knee scarred over

from fragmented gore to a thin white line


Your lungs forced open

under cold silent waves,

even if there was only water to gulp


Your hand pulled back

when you touched the hot burner


but you wanted to touch


Standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, on a family vacation

Your mind leapt into the shadows, safe

Your eyes squeezed shut

against the white looming sun,

wave after wave of buzzing heat.


This evolution of soft flesh has already grown

millions of lives inside of you

Your own landscape, your own canyon


A classmate said biting through your finger

was as easy as biting through a carrot

Your teeth ground against themselves,

gnawing and cracked behind clenched lips.


Essay: emma friary

Essay: emma friary

Painting: toby penney

Painting: toby penney