Size / / /

Content warning:

It is yours, after all
in so far as any creature
owns another.

If they would make you
rip its talons from your shoulder,
pull its roots from your spine,
turn away and leave it crying
on the doorstep,
so they may sit you down, lock the door,
position you chiaroscuro
to hide the scabs the scars the holes
and pay you compliments on the light
that does not reach your eyes—
yes, they call it your good side

if the faded bloodstains on the sofa
are never mentioned, nor the wailing
from under the floorboards, if no one asks
where you were, before—this, yes,
is polite conversation—and you
must smile and nod, careful your head
does not fall off where they had it severed:

Walk away. Roll. Crawl.
Hold your head up. Hold this thing
that lives in your bones
and put it to bed in your organs,
fascia-tucked tenderly,
rock yourself, you two
with your one life, grown
in this body of aches and time.

Toby MacNutt is an author, dancer, and knitter living in rural Vermont. Their work in all media draws on their experience as a nonbinary trans, queer, disabled, and neurodivergent person. Toby's poetry and prose has been published in various magazines and in their collection If Not Skin. Find out more at
Current Issue
8 Apr 2024

the burrowing spiders, / backs the size of satellites, / orbiting your hair
And these meteors still fall to the earth.
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