These hours

By Elisabeth Horan


These hours of penance

the thing I despise,

the thump of pain in my vacant hole,


snakes slither as if my tongue


was sand for them to burrow home—

ears ears


the buzzing hives

indoctrinate a plan

for survival I make wax


to plug against the drone,


the melting whine against which

I fight, the earplug larva

I should crumple again and

again in every cavity

I wish to know of,


please make it stop


the circus wheel

the vertigo, freak show beard,

flaccid breasts, no bra,

no girdle, one leg,

three arms, combined cranium,

lonely wolf pup, suckles


my witch tit with enthusiasm,


I fall to the hobbyists, to the hoarders,

I am no more a human, for

the breath of God


has made me sterile, no Eve,


no Eden, shall I decode,

no serpent speaks to me


its tongue already down my throat,


seeking to belong to a dystopia

where yellow eyes,

yellow livers,

make excellent soup

for writhing balls


of newly hatched snaklings;

the world born within my harem –


and this death just keeps on seething.


Elisabeth Horan is from Vermont, advocating for animals, children and those suffering alone and in pain – especially those ostracized by disability and mental illness. She is Editor in Chief at Animal Heart Press, and Co-Editor at Ice Floe Press. She has several chaps and collections out this year including Bad Mommy / Stay Mommy at Fly on the Wall Press, Odd list Odd house Odd me at Twist It Press, Was It R*pe, from Rhythm and Bones Press, and Just to the Right of the Stove, with Hedgehog Poetry Press. She is a poetry mentor and proud momma to Peter and Thomas.

Follow her @ehoranpoet  &

Elisabeth’s new poetry collection will be released by us here at Cephalopress in September. Stay tuned for more of her work and updates on the upcoming publication.

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