Henry was the one to tell Maggie about a girl
named Philomela. She could only be seen
through a cigarette flame. He wouldn’t tell her
what she looked like, only that she appeared
if you were lucky. He was unable
to distinguish one face from another most times.
Maggie asked if the girl ever spoke. No.
Her tongue had been cut out by her parents
when they discovered she was holding hands
with other girls. The neighborhood men
would watch her, like she was a girl
in dirty movies.
Maggie became scared of all the houses &
all the streets, of all the bricks piled brick upon
brick upon brick.
–Art by Kaia Pieters