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You think you have trapped me,
blue collar tying my neck
to a young tree. The weeds grow,

and I eat them, not the scraps
you leave behind. The tree grows,
and I nibble its bark that chafes

against the collar, against my neck.
I drink the rain dripping
off the leaves above me

while your river turns rancid
without my touch. The tree’s trunk
will thicken. The collar will fray,

and I will consume its threads.
Then I will find you, lost
in your grave, hidden

by weeds, by roots of trees.
I will dig up your body
and devour your bones.



Emily Jiang holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary’s College of California and a BA in English from Rice University. Her poetry has been published in Strange Horizons, Stone Telling, and Weird Tales. Her debut picture book Summoning the Phoenix was listed among the Best Children’s Books of the Year by Kirkus Review and The Huffington Post.
Current Issue
13 May 2024

This variation on the elixir of life pairs the flavour of roasted roc with the medicinal potency of the philosopher’s stone. But buyer beware: this dish isn’t for everyone.
mourn and lament while mixing, then cut down a tree
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