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lizzie romantic / lizzie rheumatic
Kailey Tedesco
Writer of the Month


there i go fainting
down the marbled
grand staircase –         

one hand on my forehead,  palm-
somewhere a god 

wears a cameo            
of love

somewhere closer a storm
brews my colicky

i am all nerves
in my nightgown
of marrow.  

dearest dental cavity   
won’t you balance
this vase 

on your crown                          
while i recite
my alibi: 

constellate my pores
& leave me 

salt-browed & quite
this jury swears           

so help me
that seawater

my reproductive
imagine the sirens 

pulling my ovaries
by string
don’t mind me 

this hysterectomy

luxe in my thigh gap. 
i’ll get off  
even with cudgel-blood 

rouging my jowls. 


first published in Phoebe Journal

Kailey Tedesco is the author of She Used to be on a Milk Carton (April Gloaming Publishing) and These Ghosts of Mine, Siamese (Dancing Girl Press). She is the editor-in-chief of Rag Queen Periodical and an associate editor for Luna Luna Magazine. Her manuscript Lizzie, Speak recently won White Stag Publishing's full-length poetry contest, and it will be published in early 2019. You can find her work featured or forthcoming in Prelude, New South, Sugar House Review, Phoebe Journal, Muse/A Journal, Bone Bouquet Journal, and more. For further information, please visit or follow @kaileytedesco.