Back to Issue Seventeen.




got brought
up from mud
& pond scum

tadpole girl but
drop girl & just say
“fledgling” / no flight

yet / too patient to be
boy but lost
ones roost here

call me close
enough to pocket knife
that I join the circle

in service of claws
& in service of pulling
at the scruff of a neck

& in service of the nest
I dream from / only blade
away from Roman candle

they’ve called the cops
on our devolution from civilized
to tinderbox / light me

at the ankles / here comes
the show / think lovely
knots in the hardwood

think sewing needle
in the pads of our fingers / blood
brothers because we insist

& in service of the star we’ve stolen
I’ve got a crow sewn in my throat
sounding out a new husk

& in service of cake & kill
& the cave flooded with never
when you believe


Emily O’Neill is a writer, artist, and proud Jersey girl. Her recent poems and stories can be found in The Boiler, inter|rupture, and Queen Mob’s Teahouse, among others. Her debut collection, Pelican, is the inaugural winner of YesYes Books’ Pamet River Prize and she edits poetry for Wyvern Lit.

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