“Colony” by Tessy Ward

No one will call to collect these parasites and take them home. They’ve invaded for days, working on this vessel like a windshield traveling over gravel yet to be chip-sealed. They will not reconcile with the trace my body cannot leave.

I’ll create my own language to make you understand, describe what I cannot literalize.

Relocate you to the illusion still beating the walls with a tire iron, leaving damage I’ll eventually want to love.

They take my dysfunction and keep breathing. Tapping small hammers onto organs that are made of light bulb glass. If only the shards would be stable, I wouldn’t spend years finding them in small slivers.

What cannot be labeled turns to waste. I will learn to live for words created out of desperation, search for fuel to find form. You stand in my kitchen honoring the life of an other, perceiving today’s disorientation a distant trail that will find a road.

A haunting in my mind is
one I can own.

My cavity was designed to gear shift and they have unlinked the chain. I will wait by the phone, then pace in the wrong direction. I listen for a ring or  tone, and in the silence I hear their jittery, nimble feet venturing deeper inside me. Someday I’ll hear their voices.



Tessy Ward is an MFA candidate at Boise State University and the author of *My Head Can Feel the Vibrating of a Full Heartbeat Through a Chest That Is Neither Hollow Nor Dark*, a chapbook from Press 254. She was a Sutherland Fellow in poetry at Illinois State University. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Requited, Rougarou, Touch The Donkey, and Connecticut River Review, among others.



"Tom Falling" by Dustin Hyman

“Tom Falling” by Dustin Hyman