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  • Writer's pictureLover's Eye Press

3 Poems by Kailey Tedesco

dream locket / primary tokophobia

i will clamshell for you—again, my body plays god

without me. a rainbow, the fractures of you

etch monogram through my nervous system—

veins tangled in veins, all my charms

palpitate & chainlink. your hair weaves up

into my esophagus & out through the hand-pies—

at birth, my mother recalled my body werewolf-ed

with lanugo. i imagine yours will be too.

my hearts each burn at night & scab

my organs stiller—in false-awe i wonder

what it is that makes the feast taste

of gold coins, the water all un-wined.

soon these new colors will pour invisible

from me, my orifices alight with blossoming

cranium & shoulder. which of your psychic

wounds will shine the brightest in the photograph?

for a moment i’m the seance & you’re the spirit

tipping my abdomen over, swelling my cells

& capillaries. a blood-pour, i’ll collect

what i can of you into my prettiest jar,

wear it all around my neck.


tucked away / enmeshment

dissociated, you storm me. i found myself

unable to listen to father, went coatless

by the fog-pond & paper-boated past my dearest

ghost. you make me frozen-

charlotte, a glass-nude lost

among miniatures. combing your willow-hair,

i waver. you arm me only in porcelain, a stronghold,

a hoop-demon. faux-beholden, i kiss the men

long before i am ready. we’re playing house

& we’re playing dolls & it is all only a game.

everything is lullabied & plush-fuzzed

even the dress-up trunk full of facelessness

i can try on & on, all my clothes

a costume of innocence, of your murder

eating my mind. lungless-ness beckons

to me. i pretend suffocate, suffer no food

from the weeping oven, unfed & unferal.

the good nanny saves me in this version alone.

in this version i’m older than i should be, un-sick.

i forget mother. well-martyred,

i’ll marry the man who makes me feel

like playing least.



Kailey Tedesco is the author of three full-length collections of poetry. She is a senior editor for Luna Luna Magazine, and she teaches an ongoing course on the witch in literature at Moravian College. You can find her work featured in Fairy Tale Review, Conduit, The Journal, and more. For further information, please visit

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