top of page


I want to go underground-
pray for snow,

let my wounds bleed out black,
let the chemical stirring of my roots
turn daylight into sustenance
instead of grief,
let my leaves expel
something more like flame than air.

I want my hollowed stalks,
no longer wishbone or backbone,
to be eaten by the dark-eyed Junco;
let the pieces that are left be cracked,
consumed, and dropped somewhere new,
there- under a fortress of nesting trees.

I want to burrow down between their roots,
pull a blanket of moss over this head,
turn my bruised cheeks only against damp, rich        soil,
drown every whisper of "seventy times seven,"
times them into only... zero fucks.

In this dark, acidic soil, I need the
hypha and lichen to weave their
slender, white tentacles through my skin,
dissolve ever ything soft into pungent earth,
leave dead or dormant any seed of possible,
let the dung beetle have the pull of this womb,
let him gnaw and grind any lingering tendril of         hope.

In the dusky shade of nightmare,
I do not want to breathe at all,
if you must always be the sun.

published in Snapdragon Journal, Summer 2021

Kelly Joslyn is an educator, writer, kayaking enthusiast, and all around caregiver to the four-legged family members who share her home, Katamount Sanctuary, near the Kinzua Reservoir, in the Allegheny Mountains of Western New York.

bottom of page