BEASTLY by Erin Slaughter

by Erin Slaughter


Call to me at the bottom of the stairs and wrap me in your breathless summering. Confession: my lips are their own puppetry until they’re not. Marionette me: I slashed my voice in the orchestrated light, beams of birdshadow pinned up for dissection on the wall. You were the window. So it seems the same knobby brown knees are embellished on a stranger’s body, appearing like the twin brother of a great dead lover from a childhood storybook, a wax figure that breathes underwater. So it seems holy repetition requires no funeral. Neither does piercing my own side, like the deer who lies down to be devoured and calls it love. I am not calling you a wolf, but. Carelessness sneaks up quiet and beastly and has sorry teeth. And leaves no footprints in its path, hidden ashes littering tall grass.

Erin Slaughter holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Kentucky University. She has been a finalist for Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Contest, and was nominated for a Best of the Net Award and a Pushcart Prize. You can find her writing in River Teeth, Bellingham Review, Sundog Lit, Tishman Review, and elsewhere. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Elegy for the Body (Slash Pine Press, 2017), and the forthcoming GIRLFIRE (dancing girl press, 2018), and is editor and co-founder of literary journal The Hunger. She lives and teaches writing in Nashville.


Image credit: Pixabay


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