By Kaitlin Rikala
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Images that include gore, unhealthy relationships
Dandelion yellow sundress, scraped knee, champagne in plastic flute vengeance. Mosaics of sunlight melted my toes into fertile soil, twisted up in dance. Buttered rays injected directly into my bloodstream; my enemies destroyed. Pine trees with bending boughs offered shade as I devoured picnic baskets full of lust. Running barefoot through the woods was a midday specialty, soles charred. I left myself to rot in freshly baked dirt, my veins dug into the soil and formed roots. Love affairs with wolves in sheep’s clothing in electric blue houses with silver roots only leads to flipped mattresses and bruises that bloom lilac in moonlight vengeance. Repeating the mistakes of your mother is a devastating blow that leaves your insides charred, chewed up, intestines mixed with slushy blue saliva, an internal dance. I want to escape Midwestern gothic, cornstalks with deep roots, faded raspberry sunrises, crisp winter mornings that ignore howling dogs, untethered lust. I can be the bloated doe’s corpse on the highway, rising mile markers screaming vengeance. I am crushed honeysuckle thriving in the beaming, decaying sun; I am haunted by dance. Pirouette pointed toes, harbor dusty pink nausea, strawberry lust, peach pit desire, a queer dance.
Kaitlin Rikala (they/them) is a 23 year old that graduated from UWEC with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Art History and Creative Writing. They are currently attending The University of Chicago as a Master’s student. Their work has been featured in the literary magazines None of The Above, Angel Rust Magazine and New Note Poetry, among other places. Find out more at https://kaitlinrikala.wixsite.com/website.