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A Half-Step From Salvation

Our house was the house of mourning.

—Mary Shelley

we can’t find

the end

of this

empty road

red dirt & gravel

so dark so green & new

in the distance

a newborn cries

& we don’t turn our heads

not even to feign interest

right there

is a bridge

a deep gash in the middle

where there was once


to be whole is to be

unfleshed unburdened


how many of us

can claim our own

gaped mouths

we come here

to remind ourselves:

we’re still alive

—something complete

& entirely different

a warped doorframe

paint crackled by sunlight

let’s start at the beginning

nothing is ever completely



HANNAH V WARREN is the author of Slaughterhouse for Old Wives Tales (Sundress, Winter 2023) and two chapbooks. Her works appear in Gulf Coast, Passages North, Crazyhorse, THRUSH, and Fairy Tale Review, among others. Currently a PhD candidate at the University of Georgia and a Fulbright scholar, Hannah’s writing and research interests center monstrous aesthetics, post/apocalypse literature, and representations of alterity.


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