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Today, she's eaten: three spoonfuls of peanut butter — her dinner — barefoot in her kitchen after midnight; seaweed crackers as blood dripped out her nose, courtesy of the dry air; decaf earl grey with lemon after she woke, also in the kitchen, also barefoot, when she startled — at skittering legs against her bare walls. Usually, the dance is with shadows slanting over white paint, each corner shades of shadow, but —


















the shadow moves. Long-legged. An invasion in her space, an unwanted guest trailing along her walls like fingers along her spine, down her hips, down her legs. She is frozen. She can't move to strike. She does not want its legs inside her walls. She can't eat — she does not want a single thing inside her walls.


lay down with the   dilation of the pupils   dilation of the eyes    look into each other   the dark holes where the retina is   beneath your exoskeleton   legs wide   leaning in towards her skin shivers   dilation   more light   dilation of the hole   of the blood vessels under the skin   of the legs   wide   eyes closed   blood flushing   the skin   the love rocking from   to you   blowing back & forth our mouths gaped   legs gaped   more legs   clutching inside   breathing in to your   out   out to your   in   love rocking   pupils dilating into each other's dark holes reaching legs & forth   the pause   backwards time  rolls rocking   the pause   turning our love rocks   legs wide  skittering   how they will   love rocks   the pause   how they    sex    love rocks  & someday we will

Centipede | Sirianna Helleloid

Sirianna Helleloid is a production accountant by day & by night is mostly asleep; somewhere between the two she writes. She's had poems in JAKE, The Gravity of the Thing, Catapult Magazine, Diagram, & Twin Bird Review. Her manuscript &maybe was a finalist for the 2023 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize.


Twitter: @elelelelloyd


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