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lizzie’s sister / the basement
Kailey Tedesco
Writer of the Month


the sisters i’m thinking of light candles
            on their molars – waxy moonlight,
artificial. we have taught them to
            hold the hands

of strangers at a young age. they have learned
            to pull the bones of hand from the skin
of hand making empty palms
            as offerings. 

the tin bowl is kept
            between floorboards, full
of sticky dimes, full of paper cranes – full.  these girls
            talk of death like they know it, 

like they’ve always been full of it. deer
            mice flee from beneath
their fingernails making mother
            beat their wrists

like rugs, scrubbing skin hot & then
            gone. these girls have soap
in their mouths. it’s stolen

from an inn, tastes
            yellow, but not lemon. someone
sleeps on their carpet at night. they’ve licked

            it cat-dry. these girls use eye-
lashes to auger, nose to floor, 
            sipping up maple. 

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.