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Content Warning: bones, death, dark themes

Julie Stevens – Let the Dark Stay

I will sit with the dark and let it have me

each breath is my offering to keep it here,

my body is a table so now it can feed

take every dead bone and wrestle it dry.

When the curtains close, let them stay shut

dampen all colour, I don’t need the glare,

a hollow room may welcome this mind

I am here and I am holding the dark.

Both hands carry days now tangled and torn

those simple tasks that wouldn’t lie still,

every cursed hour that dragged me under

they are here, hearing my rage.

Don’t try and find me to untie these ropes

blurring the bite will only feed this pain,

keep the door closed to secure my fight

I am here and I am holding the dark.

Julie Stevens writes poems that cover many themes, but often engages with the problems of disability. Her poems have recently been published in Fly on the Wall Press, Ink Sweat & Tears and Black Nore Review. Her Stickleback pamphlet Balancing Act was published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press (June 2021) and her chapbook Quicksand by Dreich (Sept 2020). Her next collection Step into the Dark will be published this year by The Hedgehog Poetry Press. Website: Twitter @julesjumping

Cover Artwork: The Pirates of Orion by Wendy Hess

Wendy Hess is from Berkeley, California, USA. As an Artist, Photographer and Author, she enjoys the Gothic, Classic, Humorous, and Bizarre side of Life. Her work has been featured in Cauldron Anthology, Seaborne, Floresta, Acropolis Journal, and Lavender Bones Magazines.

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