I had nightmares where I
danced, barefoot, to the

muted sound of a radio
that hummed like it lived

next door. I felt every
shaking inch of my skin

and caught shards of
nighttime, in the valleys

of my fingers. I was closed
and open like any true

wild thing. heading always
out and always in.

interminably trapped and
endlessly free. I saw the

dark of the night and I
wanted it. desire for a

dark thing was a dark thing
in me. I found vestiges of

light when I pulled up the
floorboards, and I burnt my

palms raw just trying to
contain it.


SHAY VERA-CRUZ is a nineteen year-old poet, artist and historian living in the southeast of England. Winner of the 2015 Royal Holloway Comparative Literature and Culture Art Writing competition, and shortlisted for the 2016 Tower Poetry Prize, they have two poems upcoming in the Platypus Press anthology A Portrait in Blues (2017).