you’re in the trunk of a car until
the breath of blood throes
you into
a desert storm

        what tastes worse?
        the burnt out
butt of a gun? or

the dust leaves you
somewhere in the middle
of southern california
you sleepwalk through the
dead sea and puddle
in the torn up leather
of a diner booth
ask for ketchup,
turn your scars
to stains. you listen
to the news turned low, talking
‘bout the death of the sun
and how it’ll turn
the whole world cold but you
recall the feeling of
a star exploding inside you,
remember the weight of
                         an empty soul
the way the church
knows the weight of
                          an empty god.
and you dream of running,
wake up half
fallen into gravity
and she’s a drunken girl
with needles for
teeth and you thank every god
that your mother
taught you how to sew. her
hands tug through
your hair, plaiting
a quilt out of your scalp. there
are rooms for fists
in this body. each
gets a key and a ‘do not
disturb’ sign to hang from the knob,
but you know that girls like this
do not listen.


Julia Simmons lives in a small suburb just outside Chicago. She’s a student at a mathematics academy where she studies the intersections of science and poetry. She enjoys reading pieces that examine and unravel the self and you can find her on Twitter @inntricacies.