being touched in a charged body by
      accident bounces bones enough to shed dead skin
and leave flesh behind to finagle steady breath without a frame
      of mind barely attached to a torso dangling
out of the car window even if hanging on means swallowing
      the one-winged mosquitos or pounding a steak until the vessels
run dry and deformed or become too tender to touch because after
      all what does an expanding chest do if not leak liquid
from the wet bone and strung out muscle fibers like a window
      half-washed and cracked open or fingertips jammed
in the airtight seal of an in-between space
      where a voice realizes enough pain to release itself
from the metal cage and float with plasma almost
      willing to be eaten alive if it means feeling weightless


cj west is a 20 yr old junior at Emerson College, where they created a major in Performance Poetry. They don’t care what your parents think of her tattoos. Their favorite things are: cats, bread, and women. Two they’re allergic to, one is out to get them. If they can’t change the world they hope to at least leave life laughing because things finally feel that light. cj can be found at: &

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.