Ashley Wilkinson



Her feet were still larger than mine. Long white flecked in burning orange. Mine dart between hers, quick cotton still unsure. I wrap arms around her sharp waist because she would let me believe in Santa forever.



A wink at the ear and his sinewy arm is eaten in the doorway. Another girl laughs. One beastly growl and he is gone, red light swallowed into nightfall.


The tiny back dips in a curve of submission, white legs resting against heartless glass. Face listens against the barrier, begging, trembling as he waits and waits and waits for him.


He dips his fingers in the dye but still the gray eats the brown. The rose scar peeks above the waistband of protruding flesh. He touches his hair and looks at his wife but I remember the man who buried the dog.


They sit in the crevices of eyes, wings ghosts over pupils. Lost on yellow landscape they cling, pinpricks of black on the eyes of canaries. They blossom on the tongue, sucking nectar from molars, death whispering against their wings.


The white paper burns at night, the ember tips and curling trails. My glass is full of white evidence floating on dark water. I tip it as an offering to the faceless god, spilling it to the rocks at our feet. My prayers go unheard.


Euphemism Campus Box 4240 Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4240