Desert Murder -- hybrid by Lydia Bae
Beloved, I dreamt of watching pebbled crows devour your eyes today. Their moon-struck beaks made quick work of your wreckage, slitting muscular threads that clung to bone. When your eyes had been bitten to sockets, the crows flew, dark wings eclipsing starlight. I feared their cries—for a moment, I thought they would wretch you back to life. I reached out, heart thrashing another hole in my patchwork sternum. I woke up to my fingers gripping the ghost of a hatchet. Remember how I settled each shattered bone, sheltered your split organs in tissue paper crumpled from my backpack? I could have left you in that desert, could have let the scavengers feast upon your carcass. Instead, I heaved terror from the bottom of my throat. You were spoiled to mush, softened with maggots—but I could not contain my hunger. Seven hours, I spent flurrying your corpse into scraps my mottled frame could bear and spitting you from my open mouth. Beloved, would you forgive me if I told you I haven’t stopped smiling since?
Lydia (Hayun) Bae is a junior in Bellevue, Washington. In her free time, she enjoys reading poetry, playing with her cat, and stressing over college. Her writing has previously been recognized in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the Foredge Review, and The Apprentice Writer.