Literary Orphans

by Rachel Haas

all those words, the naughty ones that good girls
don’t say.
we fill in the gaps with
there’s that word, q***tions, with the dangerous
w*****ness and the promise of
we speak them hushed, they’re secrets
looking over shoulders, did someone hear us say?
we are women, hear us
blotted out with asterisks because we aren’t supposed to
sp**k or l**d or let down our hair
and show too much sk*n.
fire roaring, ashes smeared over
lips, until smoke overtakes.
they’d rather I say fuck than fr**dom.

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Rachel is one of the wild ones. She is a paint-flinging coffee-consuming sacred-chasing word weaver who has embraced the Wild Lion of Judah with eyes wide open. Married four years to her lover, Jonathon, and adoring momma to Marian. She dwells in between Midwestern cornfields where she pours her heart out in lowercase abandon. Her words can be found at dramatic elegance.


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–Art by Bostjan Tacol