Back to Issue Eighteen.




It is dark and I am trying to tell you
why all my poems are about weapons.

In the space between us, my voice
is a heart-skin hemorrhage: the color

of savagery. I can’t bring myself to look
beyond your face so I imagine a hawk

on your shoulder. Imagine its talons
closing around something softer

than the oil spill of my tongue,
which is even now undoing itself

onto the table. This is how I hunt:
I step into the open, undress

my arrows, will the wind into song.
Severance is a clean word.

It is the only clean thing I know
how to make. Your hands fall

out of mine. Outside, the moon waits
for sinew to grow. There are no true

synonyms for loneliness. You are
so pretty once your eyes are dry

and the night is baying for your blood.

Christina Im is fifteen years old and attends high school in Portland, Oregon. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in YARN: Young Adult Review NetworkStrange HorizonsWords Dance, and Rose Red Review, among others. In addition, her work has been recognized by Hollins University and the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and was selected by Corey Van Landingham as an Honorable Mention for the 2016 Adroit Prize for Poetry.

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