Content Warning: blood, dark themes
Addissyn House – swallowed
my breastbone, two collar bones, my jugular: holy.
at the center of the cross a monarch butterfly,
and my halo lit by fireflies, waiting.
I hope this monarch doesn't use my beating
heart as its way station, nectar and blood.
my breath quickens.
the delicate legs of the butterfly pick
through me pore by pore.
I try not to breathe so my breastbone won’t move.
then the mosquitoes come.
I fear this monarch will dive its proboscis
into my chest cavity, so I sit still.
my heart beats faster,
my breath keeping pace and
the fireflies turn to black flies, diving
at my ears before returning to orbit—my halo.
mosquitoes eat away at me,
drawing blood the monarch laps up,
despite a full belly, and tears sink slowly
under my chin and wrap around my neck,
filling the holes the monarch left.
Addissyn House is a writer and Los Angeles native with a degree in English from Kalamazoo College (MI). She can often be found reading several books at a time, writing in a notebook, and drinking coffee. Her previous work has been published with Bitch Media, NowKalamazoo, Foreword Reviews, and her college literary magazine, The Cauldron. She has a poem forthcoming from Musing Publications and an essay forthcoming from Oh Reader Magazine. Addissyn currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, and she can be found on Twitter at house_addi.
Artwork: Vessel by Melissa Nunez
Melissa Nunez lives and creates in the caffeinated spaces between awake and dreaming. She makes her home in the Rio Grande Valley region of South Texas, where she enjoys observing, exploring, and photographing the local flora and fauna with her three home-schooled children. She is contributor for The Daily Drunk Mag and Yellow Arrow, and staff writer for Alebrijes Review. Twitter: @MelissaKNunez