jagged frozen hills thrust into my back

and numb the muscles under my skin.

i quake when the wind roars

through the stitches and

forces itself into my crevices.

you put your arm around me,

try to thaw the frost pulling my skin closed.

soon my limbs unlock

and i can press closer to your side

and i guess invitations

come in many different languages

(even ones that aren’t spoken out loud)

and i guess i didn’t know what i was saying.

words stumble over my teeth

and fall out backwards these days.

you grab and squeeze and i am winter again.

brittle branches that forgot how to breathe. 

lips frozen shut. i know you want to evaporate them too.

my lungs are heavy with crystals

and my words are blocked

by the memory of your tongue in my mouth.

i close my eyes.


new day. moon has been whittled

down into a toothpick surrounded

by sleeping stars. i don’t look up.

my hands are shaking.

the world is turning fast

and the undeniable biological urge to live

is all consuming. in a haze,

i tear apart the filmy silver painted wrong-color,

grab handful after handful

and swallow whatever power i thought i had.

tomorrow the scale will break in my bathroom

and i will run for hours; collapse wrong side up

and lay there till i can see again,

till i can sit up again,

till my hands stop shaking

for more of what i have banished.

this is the way of the woman

who’s been drowned.

i throw up sea salt bent over,

toothbrush in hand.


OSA SVENSSON is a 17 year old writer currently finishing her senior year of high school. She enjoys hiking, skiing, reading, writing, and spending time with her friends. Poetry is one of her many passions. A few are acting, singing, editing and designing books.

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