Nyctophilia By Erin Hanyu Lynch


Speak, or self-destruct. These are your options.
Now fly.


The air is fire behind
my ribs and I am about
to burst. What a spectacle
I would make, a red-and-gold
fire-wrought phoenix
spattered against ink-stain
sky. My pain is exquisite.


I peel away
at my chest. I want
to speak, but something in
their spider eyes bottles
me up. The air is fire behind
my ribs and I am about
to burst.


I am a creature
born of darkness, mole
used only to earth. I am
not accustomed to blank
eyes and slack
jaw, to thin tendrils lining
rows and rows before me.


The air is sparks behind
my chest and I am about
to burst. I wear a necklace
of string, of tooth, of shards
of bone. I wear a mouth
garbled full of charcoal
kerosene. I wear my voice,
blinding fireworks painting the sky.


Erin Hanyu Lynch attends Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY. An alumna of Columbia University’s Advanced Workshop in Creative Writing, she has produced poetry that has appeared in their 2018 Summer Session I literary magazine, “Alphabet Soup.” She has also published three works of prose. When she isn’t writing or stressing about college applications, she can probably be found contemplating mortality with her three cats.

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