Back to Issue Seventeen.




On a magic string I pull forth my fate:
I was molten panther when they scalped
me, put on platter, said, Serve. Queen

turned me over like a thimble, looked
inside, let me out where creams spin
her money, on fire & white. Everyone

here is an orphan orbiting. I sip milk,
run through the fields like a baby,
touching stalks. At birth, they couldnst

remove the elf tusk from my brain. I lurk
into the Tower where vultures pick
black buttons on their coats & spit

them out. Everyone here is an orphan,
webbed fingers collecting foyer dinge.
I perceive my smallness in a telescope,

fall in love with the tippling. Everyone
here is orbiting a knowing. My beard has,
for years, been seed-size. Keep going,

says the wind… All night I stir mare soup:
I, standing in my best breeches alone.



lady butter



Her hand a country
where women are fools
in harrowing bonnets,
only dreams can pursue them.

Winter bullied her, forced
a finger in her, made her

his wife, so that nobody
could touch her. When crowned,
she magnified her wand

into a mirror, caught what wind
& wired it shut. Her nature
ballooned in a cave of iniquity,

so beautiful
windows closed at her arrival
& true became truest
just by looking at her.

Her her a burr, the burr of her.

The waiting & bleeding
trembled her over, the monster
of her & her might—Origin

A man with no business wearing a hat
got lost in the woods, & took her:

Her names were Luxury, Glory,
Little Worm. She carved a carriage
& suffocated in sated sleep.

What a dull, what a little dull, what
a dull little being she was.
It is not up to us, who lives in the window.
Her mongrel’s puddled drool a portal

to nowhere. Afraid to move, afraid
of her body with its bells & chambers, echoing.


Taisia Kitaiskaia is the author of LITERARY WITCHES, illustrated by Katy Horan and forthcoming from Seal Press in Fall 2017. A recipient of a Michener Center for Writers fellowship, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as CrazyhorsePleiadesjubilatGuernicaGulf Coast, and Fence. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her manuscript, “Hello My Unspeakable Name,” was a finalist for the 2015 Cleveland State University First Book Prize.

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