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Let Us Have Our Own Suffering

let us deny the way our lips curve around others’ mouths

defined in terms of lack

what if we schluck away any semblance of holier ground

& decide nothing is worth our trouble

everyone we meet needs to be loved endlessly

blooded poinsettias so loud and dark

let us invert who we are in a world that survives

just as the rain revises the earth

taking everything written & unwritten

then melting it all equally into damp smudges of oil

or newly-fleshed pelts—& isn’t there something beautiful

in knowing we can laugh our gothic laughs

the snare of medusa brushing our corneas like taffy—

sexual deviance & the immense curling mass of snakes

the ocean as our auditor we drudge up all the hidden

grotesqueries: take us into your damp folds

layer by layer until we’re salt of the earth & our ashes

are sliding wet & jupiter-bound

let us travel to space in fine bone china

little flecks of gold chipping off and mixing inside us


HANNAH V WARREN is a doctoral student at the University of Georgia where she studies poetry and speculative narratives. She is the author of two chapbooks: [re]construction of the necromancer from Sundress Publications (2020) and Southern Gothic Corpse Machine from Carrion Bloom Books (forthcoming 2022). Her works have appeared in Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, Passages North, and Fairy Tale Review, among others.


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