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  • Writer's pictureLover's Eye Press

Four Poems by Lilian McCarthy


Stretch your denim over my mouth – it’s

Always less than I need –

Suffocate in my dreams of

The rafters, a slanted cushion,

Your waist band, a


Strobe light of golden

Water – wash me away,

Down the drain of vomit,

Clarins, clean mint,

Blood, smuggled vodka,

A premonition, cracked teeth -

That’s where I’ll be



Milk in my decaf coffee blooms

Like white rabbit tulips -

I stare but I am

Disinvited once again -

Pour me out, go to sleep,

Wake up, let it fade away –

The knots are slipping across

Pen on my wrist like eighth grade –

Take a sip, inhale,

It’s never what it seems



Rift, twist, spin

Waste away. I’ve been

Dying since

Puberty. Imagine that,

A rotting bulb in spring,

Infectious necrosis turning

Pistils purple. Plan a

Future to trick myself,

Like stepping in the bear trap

I set with my father in his

Favorite hunting spot.

Our dog pointed to pheasant –

He shot.

Sweet beast, traitor to his

Animism, rusted, golden,

Damp, brown-eyed

Bloody. A pure love of death.

Death he facilitated,

Death shot inside me –

Haunted from the beginning,

Body never once my own



I write to weave –

Wrap sounds around my sweaty palms

Like skeins of wool –

I knit myself a

Sweater of the glorious space around me -

To hold it in

To feel it all


Lilian McCarthy (she/they) is a disabled, queer, nonbinary woman who lives in Boston, MA and Dublin, Ireland. She is a Masters candidate in Comparative Literature at Trinity College Dublin. She enjoys fabric arts, painting, playing with animals, writing, and translating French and Italian work.

Lilian works primarily in free verse and short fiction. Her writing attempts to capture how it feels to exist in her disabled and queer body. She has been published in The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, Fence, Matter Press: Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Ricochet Review, and others.

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