I wasn’t even part of this — but it’s spread into everything like motor oil — stays around — I wonder what decides critical — sticky and forcefully there — I wonder who decides who gets a house — I want to know how much money they lost — to lose even more — what their parents will say — if they’ve got any — what is the state – of their medical bills— of the union after it’s fallen apart — can I state the truth the whole truth and nothing but the fucking truth for once — I want to know what the student assembly is going to say about my parents tonight — bad news on the doorstep — waking up to a broken down car and not knowing where to find the money to fix it — under the front tire — days like this make me doubt magic — I can’t own anything anymore — I don’t get fucked up in places I think you might be — I don’t deserve — who is touching — who gave me these words who gave you permission who had to watch kids go catatonic — I don’t know how ownership works — I don’t know if I have said a word in a week that felt as good as my bed used to — I’ve never been good — taking up space or giving permission — psychology surveys — keep showing up — positive — you keep showing up — life off of airways is beginning to make my lungs learn what work is — I am trying to find a way to breathe around the memory — how are people — going to remember any of this


Torii Johnson is an English and Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies double major at Wesleyan University. Self-described anxious writer, intersectional feminist, annoyed bisexual, femme witch, caffeine enthusiast. She runs her personal blog and has contributed to Helloflo; if you’re interested in her tweets, which you should be, her handle’s @toriisavannah.

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.