trauma scripture | Savannah Slone

yellow balloons           heavenly release 
opening chair scene of juno 
pomegranate peel        post-smoke spit 

i’m bleeding out, my legslowerbackintestines twinge, cramp 
and i can’t stand laugh breathe and i sob into the boiling shower floor. 

hip throb. my wrists, ankles, knees, stiff fingers, spinal cord             coated, ember-encased.

needled skin, set aflame, tamped out in bath water—a relit aftermath. 

joints, split piano wire. crickets in my bones. at night, i find myself following moths as they fly through frozen air. i am a broken flashlight who is being kept alive by A24 films. it hurts to lay down, to sit, to move, to stand. sometimes, i sleep. throat overwhelm, wrist pin, head bury. most of my favorite songs were found in the hands of TV and movie soundtracks which makes my playlists feel like empty thievery. when i show the ones i love the shows and films that i love and the songs they’ve grown to take personally come on screen, i blush and pray they don’t realize.

it’s time for the 3 am peripheral figures and my dog is whining, looking around for me, as if I’m not here. 

everyone harms everyone      
we are damaged misfirings, 
sometimes trying to 

                                          deconstruct        reconstruct

mostly trying to survive and there’s no right way 
but we can try and try and trytrytrytrytrytrytry

i can own my story and still fucking hate every eventmomentperson that led me to this pain.

bleeding out     ember-encased      piano wire          frozen air      soundtracks      I’m not here 

Savannah Slone is a queer, bipolar, and disabled writer, editor, and English professor who currently dwells in the Pacific Northwest. Her work has appeared in Split Lip Magazine, Paper Darts, The Indianapolis Review, Glass: A Poetry Journal, Crab Creek Review, FIVE:2:ONE, Pidgeonholes, decomP magazinE, Crab Fat Magazine, Pithead Chapel, Hobart Pulp, and elsewhere. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Homology Lit, as well as the author of An Exhalation of Dead Things (CLASH Books, 2021), Hearing the Underwater (Finishing Line Press, 2019) and This Body is My Own (Ghost City Press, 2019). Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fictions. She enjoys reading, knitting, hiking, and discussing intersectional feminism. You can read more of her work 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.