She was a bird – Kristiana Reed

She was a bird

In a few years time

I hope we’ll see each other again.

We’ll be in different clothes

with difference faces and partners

who aren’t you or I.

I will smile because

I’ve always been gracious

and I’ve been waiting for this.

You’ll smile too

but it will be weaker, pained,

stretched like papier-mache.

And I hope when your new wife asks

what happened between us,

you’ll say:


‘She was a bird

and I was a cage

of black bars rattling

with rage,

never unlocked

yet with the power to pluck

each feather from her wings.

She had always deserved to fly,

you could see it in her eyes;

small, beady and watchful

but if she ever stepped too close

to the edge

I would give her a mouthful,

of steel, rust and dust.

I wasn’t good enough

so I forced her to believe

it was her;

her fire, her salt,

her brimstone, her faults

and her wings.

Those wings which refused to cease

and continued to beat

against the bars of my chest,

the crook of my arm

the back of my head.

She left me,

not because she outgrew me

but because she never belonged

in a cage in the first place.’


You won’t say anything more

because on cue

my shoulder blades will part

for my wings to unfurl.

They are fuller, they glimmer

more than when you saw them last.

They are iridescent;

bewitching in moonlight,

spellbinding in sunshine

and they are mine, all mine;

the bird who was finally freed

to fly.


Kristiana Reed day dreams, people watches in coffee shops, teaches English and writes. She is a curator on Blood into Ink, a collective member of The Whisper and the Roar & Sudden Denouement, and blogs at My Screaming Twenties. She is 24 and is enjoying the journey which is finding her voice.

Malevolent Melody: a collaborative piece by the curators of Blood Into Ink


(Aurora Phoenix)

Your Urgency Pierced My Marrow

with vanilla milquetoast


you spun a web

the envy of Arachne

smeared in syrupy cajolery –

I supped on hand-dipped flattery

your urgency pierced my marrow with flim flam


Dilly Dalliance Bound Me

Lavender dipped

indulgent tongue

dripped incantations,

salacious songs—

your abuse was tender

dilly dalliance bound me with feathers


The Honey You Gave

Those words were sweet as honey and I drank them down like they were all for me. I fell for each one. But slowly, beneath my rose-covered eyes, they soured.

And, piece by piece, you took all you wanted from me.

(My Valiant Soul)

Your Hands Are Stiff Wire

Cinnamon sticks plummeting

screeching lullaby with love and hunger,

A spasm spews on the back of an ant

The circle of disgust and disgust

My legs are broken, my arms are missing

yellow stingy archaic cry

Ruffling touch,

You disappear like a swollen pollen grain

As I chop my hair, chop the hideous you.


Lies and Propaganda

Anything goes, according to your arrogant agenda

Gaslight fueled, devotion fooled

Poisonous thirst for possession

And domination obsession

Believing exemption from

Sugar coated sin

As long as you win

Sticks and stones broke my bones, your lies and propaganda broke my spirit


No Longer Your Canvas

I throw out the bouquet of violets, saliva, red roses

you lay in empty contrition on our sheets of white linen

where I nurse the most recent bruises you have drawn with your fists

once you are gone, I adorn myself in essential oils

bittersweet for truth

thyme for strength

rosemary for remembrance

though my left eye may be swollen shut

I have never seen more clearly

than I do as I walk out the door, hidden suitcases in hand

I will no longer be the canvas for your unholy rage

(image: DeviantArt)

You asked too much of me- Kristiana Reed

You asked too much of me

My heart has a question,

it asks with bleeding gums

gingivitis raw:


Will I always find you

in love stories which aren’t mine?


Will you live in every word

I’ll never write, in guilt I try to hide?


My heart has a question,

it asks with pulled down sleeves

and rosy cheeks, tugging on loose thread:


Will this be us forever now?


Heartbroken by my own design

you, always asking why.


Will I know you’re happy

when she comes along?


An angel of settling security,

everything I refused to be.



My heart has a question,

it asks with bee-sting tongue

and an aching jaw:


Will every smile always feel like victory?


A familiar memory shot into the present,

the hope of the hopeless.


Will we continue to laugh this way

even when you’re miles away?


The lover I chose to lose

and the friend I wish could stay.


Will you decide on white and blue?

A chapel and steeple?

Platinum and lace?



My heart has a question,

it asks with unsettled hands,

fingernails bitten to the quick:


Will I always love you

even though, it was me who let us go?

Kristiana Reed juggles writing and teaching English; in both vocations she endeavours to remind people of their self worth and how dazzlingly beautiful the world can be.

You can read more of Kristiana’s writing at My Screaming Twenties

The Perfect Marriage- Samantha Lucero

Perfect marriage 2.jpgi’ve evolved from spitfoam into hearth-iron ribs
trapped between septic fingers and lost doors.

one gummy eye used to be the rasp moon,
the other a varnished cloud.

i’ve created ants and snow in a womb
for licking cloying.

for freezing, for festering age,
years. rafts of web on web.

i scream in a locked room.
where only i am dreaming of being me.

to accumulate in wrinkles that are parenthesis
around your matchwood mouth or baby horns between
the swale of brow-felt.

the hole that gullets its teeth.

samantha lucero 2017 ©

Samantha Lucero likes… uhhh… cats, and can never think of what to say about herself, she writes at Samantha Lucero, sometimes and is a managing editor at the Sudden Denouement Literary Collectiv



Rigor Mortis- Kristiana Reed

Rigor Mortis

You told me it wouldn’t last

unless we left everything in the past,

unless we took off to some land

unknown, you and I, hand in hand.


You took me to a café

to watch the Día de los Muertos parade,

to watch you grimace while I lied

wearing a rigor mortis smile.


You haunted me in my sleep,

left me memories I’d have to keep,

in each, I was guilty

unable to swear fealty.


You visited me in bed

with messages from the dead,

a corporeal couple of what used to be,

threatening to take all of what’s left of me.

Kristiana Reed juggles writing and teaching English; in both vocations she endeavours to remind people of their self worth and how dazzlingly beautiful the world can be.

You can read more of Kristiana’s writing at My Screaming Twenties

The Better Man- Kristiana Reed

The Better Man Kristiana Reed

She had convinced herself

there were better men to suit her

moth like temperament.

More appropriate for her vibrancy

and wit.

Over several days she had grown


of the click of his belt buckle,

how his teeth tore rabidly

at his fingernail skin

and his tendency to belittle her

visions of the future.

Visions already planned and

produced, projected onto pale, dying

white walls.

She wished and wished.

Wished a switch into existence,

one which tripped the lights,

blew the bulbs –

plastic shattered shards

thrown into disarray,

and restarted her heart.

She was convinced there was a man

made for her fiery pits

and emotional debt.

Made to touch her



and soothe her woe.

Woe which spirals like a wind chime

in a hurricane;

she twists, contorts until paralyzed

beneath the bedsheets.

Heavy as lead,

left for several hours or days

in flux

where love is fleeting,

physical and animalistic.

She’s convincing him.

Body and soul

to hold her but keep her

in his sheets,



and thoughts.

To be absorbed in love,

in lust and sorrow.

To bare teeth

at the belly of the beast,

squint into the barrel of the gun

and smile.


and it’s welcoming arms

only settles on lovers

like you and her,

it cannot consume

what has already been consumed.

She promised to savour you,

by her molars and cheeks.

She promised not to spit you

back into the storm.

The storm which brewed

the very beings who find themselves

locked as one

beneath the Milky Way.

Kristiana Reed juggles writing and teaching English; in both vocations she endeavours to remind people of their self worth and how dazzlingly beautiful the world can be.

You can read more of Kristiana’s writing at My Screaming Twenties


Spoken Word: Gestalt/OldePunk

Grasping convolutions

anything will do really

corrugated steel rictus

pulls at corners

a shadow play

in ritual dusk

down another

glass of slow derision

at the nearest

watering hole

wondering how and why

I am unholy

reconcile I’m alone

with the pictures

we both inhabit

I could not hold

the fire

so now I choke

on smoke

and bathe in ashes

my breath stinks

of rebellion

my words are heavy

and low, lo

unto tomorrow

riveting the compunction

to depart the now

the how and when of it

matter little

respond to extinguish

the embers

of my love, of

your ruin

I absolve myself

of any wrongdoing

It’s stern

your reflection

I return

to the objection

and babe

it’s all gone down

it’s all your fault

it’s not the noun

it’s not this town

the fade of gestalt

that I caught

standing outside

looking in at

your origins

I am spread too thin

and I know I will

not win

impart the devolution

of the anatomy

of we

I am left alone

with the memories

that we both inhabit

I still wonder why you


the wave goodbye

but would not look

in my way

I am disinterested

with what comes next

or the aftermath

of my part, apart

I am full to the brim

of empty

I know I haven’t the strength

to begin, again.

Think I will take

a walk down to the ocean

and see if

a baptism in the cold

salt of seas

can free me

from the loss

of the pictures

we both inhabit

image courtesy of Google Images and K. Layton

Voice recording courtesy of Christine Ray, Brave and Reckless

He is also a managing editor at Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

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