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Vera Hadzic


curls of thick gourd flesh       how they coil to shivery light

when I cup them in the blades       of somebody’s hand, hands, hands,

fingers, neck joints, tendons, roots:       how I shelter them in these precious

objects, how I stick and shove       them down my own throat

like it’s a place       where things will stay longer, maybe

even forever: let me       light a candle and stuff and shove

it into a glowing ribcage, a lantern       which holds light only

by the slender architecture       of slim wings and tenements of orange wires,

pillars and buttresses of mucous light       hardening to wax or solid

glory, empty praise:       how they found a human leg outside my old high school

white and placid as stiff, snaily       bone, even though I told them

there was no way it could be mine       this time of year,

people wear masks       over their eyes to make you forget

they, too, resemble human iterations,       I, too, am a little devil:

itchy eyes and penetrative claws—      I don’t recognize myself in mirrors

or in how slim worms soften        up and die on the undersides of leaves,

this time of year, we pick        them twisted and fleshy like scallops

or egg pastries off crunchy,        onion-cell leaves or whatever

it’s called when it sticks       to my teeth. I want to be bulwarked

by deep, rainy nights with endless       capacity for darkness:

I want to stay awake for years      just so I can sleep it off

Vera Hadzic (she/her) is a writer from Ottawa, Ontario, currently studying English and history at the University of Ottawa. Recently, her work has appeared in flo., Minola Review, Idle Ink, and elsewhere. She can be found on Twitter at @HadzicVera or through her website,

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