slaughterhouse by Spencer Wollan

Squirrel by Natalie Voelker


when the bleeding stopped    all i could think of was you.    and how close your
body comes to a tourniquet    but that’s not why i was thinking of you    i wasn’t wishing
you could turn me into a lullaby    like you did with your baby last summer:    i was only
thinking of your breasts    like i shouldn’t be    like tiny unplucked hens    and the float of
our mary jane high    and our shared dance    and how high you were the tuesday night
when the moon was trying to eat us    in the dark    and the boys on skateboards
fluttered behind you into a gas station    and how i sat    so unpretty and so unbelieving
on the curb    when the bleeding stopped    all i could think of    was the pregnancy test
in cvs. and how    we stood on the toilet seat like royalty    and the two red lines made us
into warpaint    made us swallow each others sweat    and promise ourselves that we
would make the lightning stop    and how it rained, how it rained    and how your mama
with the broomstick    and the tightest hands    called you a slaughterhouse    and then the
afternoon in your room    with the candles and a switch blade    & we stopped hearing
our names    and swore we saw the Holy Ghost    and how the night it happened    i lay in
your bathtub    naked and slimy-sticky-smooth    and cried for the lock on the bathroom
door    and cried for your corpse baby    and cried for things i kept forgetting    to spit out
of me    and how the nighttime    kept throwing its teeth at you    and how faceless we
were    how hellish we were — and how when the bleeding stopped i stopped seeing
you. — and how when the bleeding stopped    six months later i walk into a cvs    and
you’re buying gum.    and you crack at the sight of me.    like you can’t remember how
this ended.    like you don’t remember shanking me.    like you don’t remember    waking
me up to tell me    you’d already killed yourself.    me, in pieces by the raccoons    you,
on the trampoline    you never wanted to really do it!    just wanted me to look at you with
my eyes this time!    you’re too afraid to have me over for dinner now    too afraid i’ll take
your dearest friend away    your darkest clock    your precious prostitute of an illness

            cause i recovered  /  cause i amputated  /  cause i broke the spell  /  cause i call
            this sadness what it is  /  and you just call it mistress

Spencer Wollan

Spencer is a 16 year old who lives everywhere. She travels the world completing semester-long programs as an alternative to mainstream education. Most of her work is inspired by Sylvia Plath and Frank O’Hara. Her pieces have appeared in GERM Magazine.