sometimes, i still feel the heat
of every hand that’s wandered

across my body. shaking always
shaking, earthquake veins, an

uncertainty in the world,
stepping on the ledge and

looking straight down,
neck tingling at a ninety degree

angle. angels sometimes stare
at me with empty eyes.

i can match them.
i don’t have to blink.

somewhere, some time ago,
my mother is holding my face

between her hands and
crying for a response,

and i still don’t give in.
in the game of girl and god

only one can win.


Emily Palermo is a queer poet trying to survive both her twenties and her journey to an English literature degree. She currently runs solely on caffeine. Find her in The Rising Phoenix Review, -Ology, and Venus Magazine and on twitter at
Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, poetry, and creative nonfiction from marginalized creators.

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