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Sarah-Jane Crowson-a wild fiction of a wild imagination.jpg

Content Warning: blood, bones, death

Saskia Nislow - were those deer bones in the river?


In the shadow of the stream

we rest

having shared of our meat


and needing less space now


Silt pools in the toothless

pits of our jaw


which once thrust forward to

lap at these waters


(or waters like these)


and it surrounds us too

and it of us


and so we are embraced by our

own missing skin

and in that way we are the same as


before


Like when we carried our body

(which was so heavy)

to the edge of this stream


stepped in


and the water was cool against our

terrible hot blood

but ran just as quick


And when our foot caught we

struggled for a moment

against an old fear


before kneeling to the

river’s stone gums

like a child curling against its mother


And there


dehiscent

opened along the seam that stitched us to each other


We hadn’t known it was there

that we were meant to become

as we are now


something boundless

something less


we are

caught in the minnow’s eye

dancing gilded through halls of light with

the rest of the dead

Saskia Nislow (she/they/he) is a queer writer, artist, and educator based in Kansas City. Find more of their work on their website, siramuks.com.

Artwork: a wild fiction of a wild imagination by Sarah-Jane Crowson

Sarah-Jane Crowson’s work can be seen in various journals, including Rattle, Waxwing Literary Journal, Petrichor, Sugar House Review and Iron Horse Literary Review. She uses bricolage to explore the space between real and imagined; creating alternative narratives as small acts of resistance. You can find her on Twitter @Sarahjfc or on her website at www.sarahjanecrowson.art

These are poems and collages which use Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus (1592) as a source text. Other images are sourced from scanned in ephemera and images from The British Library’s public domain library.

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