If I squint,

I can see beyond

the wind and the rain

the gusts whipping water and earth

to the gulch and the mountain

equally saturated


eroding to truth.

— —


is a flood.

fluid natural disaster

a wave that is permanently


and receding

stripping every coastline

Photo by zhan zhang on Unsplash

the tide of you

swirls at my feet

salt pillars dissolving

every broken tower

the effigy of

my body


in gratitude

I’m burning on the pyre

kindling wish

after hope

after longing

after fantasy

everything immolates


open the fragile

spills the contents

into soft earth

into rooting

into the hot wake

of liquid pleasure

what remains, serves.

what remains is essential


stripped bare.

Photo by Halanna Halila on Unsplash

Trent was a charmer. He was handsome, and what he lacked in intellect, he made up for in physical beauty.

I wasn’t discerning at fifteen, and mostly just followed my sexual instincts. I wasn’t disappointed.

Our make-out sessions were savage, long, and intense. I quickly realized how queer he was and delighted in his femininity, painting his nails and applying eye makeup to him whenever he would let me, which was often.

After a few weeks of progressively riskier and more involved make-out sessions, we mutually decided to have sex for the first time. Trent wanted my first time to be on Beltane, in something us witches call the Great Rite. …

Photo by Reza Hasannia on Unsplash

a sure contour


makes its mark



follows horizon

and weeps

a seam

teeth in flesh

I am a thing
you choose

to use

a fine gradient

tucked in hip
against skin


a body apart
a shining example

cleave and kill


spiritual surgery

choose carefully.

cardinal blue jay sparrow crow grackle owl peacock eagle seagull sandpiper heron hawk

Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

this year, I knelt at the altar of

death and divination.

I catapulted to stillness

community to solitary

din to silence

deep and dark.

again, they say

cover your mouth

count your exhales

watch the wings

shift on the wind

flash white and gold

in the sun

enflamed with truth

this story of the phoenix

says everything moves

in cycles.

when I listen, the echoes

of past ashes

surrender to the breath

of love

and scatter.

Kelly M. Marshall

Freelance writer + author. Yogi. Trans and nonbinary. They/Them.

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