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  You could have a big dipper   

phantom spine by Mikhaela Woodward

because you cannot lose your spine and live, they

reinforce it with titanium.

this is not a metaphor, this is a loneliness,

so as a way of self

improvement, i envision

my torso as an eel, then

a croissant, then a coil

of smoke swallowed

by the sea. there’s an eclipse

tonight, apparently,

and everyone’s talking

about what’s in alignment

for us. everyone’s smoking

a joint at the dinner table. everyone’s raving

about death, as in the tarot, as in

rebirth, and all the deck will spit

at me is the hanged

man & his apathetic

misery, suspended in rigid


is this some sort of joke?

fuck your crystals. my body’s

a haunted thing learning

to crawl. stay awhile

and i’ll exorcise

your inner child

for free.


Mikhaela Woodward (she/her) is a poet living in Denver, CO. Her work explores the bodily maze, queerness, and the colorful, layered roots of friendship. When not writing, she can be found falling and calling it roller skating. She received her BA in Linguistics from Western Washington University.

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