Whispers penetrate flesh walls,
secrets resound like a melody
within the temple of mind.

A church choir of boys
sing Latin,
a tongue they never understood,
yet made beautiful in spite.

An angelic host of innocence,
perched in perfect rows;
perverse men licking dry lips
conduct harmony, as
chorus echoes in rounds
confined by marble stone
laid by hypocritical hands.

In time holy walls stand,
coffers full and overflowing
while souls remain empty.

Yet pride crumbles the benevolent,
corrupt tongues stumble awkwardly
over the dulled ivory teeth of time.

Stained glass fragments let in truth,
rays of light stream through darkness
reflecting a shattered faith sanctuary
built upon broken bones of man.


©Sabrina Escorcio
September 2017

Photo Credit, Sam Webber illustration for “the Priest That Preyed” – New York Times


Silhouette- Sabrina Escorcio

She came into the earth
between pillars of freedom
and oppression.
Her incompatible hosts,
were stubborn bones
softened only by fate.

Claiming her burden
head first amidst thighs
damp with promise,
and blush stained bed sheets
that swaddled an imperfect future.
Mother, delivering wisdom,
and purging past,
with each painful groan.

Their silent heritage broken
as the meek battle cry
left fluid filled lungs,
breathing life into a stale room.
A frightened young woman,
now matriarch, cradles hope
between trembling hands
for the first time.

What is the shape of bravery?
A strong chiseled jaw gifted at birth.
A mothers distended belly
at nine months.
The curve of a woman’s
engorged breasts desperate to feed.

Or is it simply,
the silhouette of new mother
embracing her infant.

© Sabrina Escorcio
July 2018

Heritage Series

Dedicated to my mother and daughter.

Sabrina was born to Italian Catholic immigrant parents in the beautiful Niagara region in Ontario, Canada. Surrounded by nature and raised on a self-sustaining farm, nature and faith are two predominant themes often appearing in her work. She grew up with a love for nature, the dramatic arts, music, as well as books and literature. After years of journaling Sabrina came to know poetry, as an adult this became an avenue of self-expression during a time of personal strife. This hunger for poetry was insatiable, leading her to scour second hand book stores for more inspiration. There she found classic authors such as Percy Shelley, Tennyson, and Sylvia Plath, as well as many obscure poets; She began to transform her journaling into the realm of confessional poetry. One of her favourite pieces is titled “Dark Pines Under Water” written by the Canadian poet Gwendolyn Mac Ewen. Sabrina hopes to feature her poetry in print one day, she can also be found on Tumblr as .

Child Bride- Twistdbutterfly

I sit and stare out the window

watching the wind as it catches the swing and makes it move

as if I am on it

Maybe the ghost of my childhood is

I look like I’m playing dress-up

wearing my mother dress

only for some reason it fits

it’s even constraining not leaving me the air to Cry

I wanted to go to school

Instead I’ll lay in his bed

There the only things I’ll learn my tiny body will dread

I’ll cry for my mother while he tries to make me one

I won’t ask for my father

Because to me they look the same

If marriage means it’s not forced why does the force of his body nearly break mine

The only things he’ll teach me are his grunts while I cry

I still play with baby dolls while my body grows round

I’ll be confused why until I hear her first cry

She looked like my baby dolls,

But demanded so much more

I’m scared and tired

I don’t know what to do

I made a bed of leaves, placed them up high.

Surrounded by so much ugly I knew her beauty would shine.

In fear and confusion I ran away

Confident someone would hear her cries

But knowing if they didn’t

Death is Gentle compared to life

I am a 44-year mom of three and a Nana to two.

I love to write, take pictures and dream.

I blog at Twistdbutterfly


Down – Deveraux Frazier

Deep into the darkness we go
Depths uncharted but by one
Death discharged into the youngest one
Into the valleys we praise the one light
Into the dungeons we sing our names
The last trinket of humanity remains
In souls that were pure and sane
We become human no more
The key to our paradise is just a door
For lust to be ejected and erected
Go our heads, hands, and feet
Offset by the blood and tears going up
On and on go turned on males
But down goes our daughters
Down to our wives
Down to mothers

Down goes their cry of agony tonight

Pour a little oil
The pour a lot
The anguish of their tears matters not
Do it for the culture
Do it for the vultures
The predators on back pages
And the scum of Hollywood stages
Chain them up, beat them down
Parade them in front of the media moguls
Nobody ever asks about sudden interruptions
Or slanted eyes
Painted to be portraits of innocence and care
Wages might be the thing least fair
In the face of the abuse, forced to refute
It’s a fair ride they bought too many tickets for
Once you step in, nobody’s opening the door
It’s the women, it’s the children
Inside the buildings, outside on set

There’s poison in our icons they don’t regret

For my sister
Who I will not name
Whosoever knows this darling beauty
Knows she needs not the identification of man
To be
For our names are simply markers
Of one miniature trait of identity
And hers spans the infinite depths
Relegating everything I think about her
To one, six letter word is folly and crude
She is a leader, now rather than soon
But I would be remiss if I forget her victimhood
How she too suffered inscrutable pain
Of being exposed at such a young age
Not of her own fault, nor of her own will
It amazes me still how some can will action
In a time when the masses only react
I wish I had acted
But I’m not sure I’d be writing this to you

© Devereaux Frazier

Devereaux Frazier is a teen poet and writer from Baltimore, Maryland. He’s been published twelve times on SpillWords, with “Pleadings Against The Preposterous” being nominated for Publication Of the Month of May. He’s also been published five times on TeenInk, with “Less Than Human” being published in the October 2016 edition of their magazine. He placed second in Blood Into Ink’s January #MeToo writing contest. Literary Arts Review has published three of his poems as well. In addition to being a guest barista for Go Dog Go Cafe and member of The Writing Hour, he runs his own poetry blog, which was voted best of 2017 by Kendall Person of The Neighborhood.

Snapchat and Instagram: @devverroh

In Case You Still Don’t Understand Consent-Jessica Boyles


This was no one-night stand
I’ve had drunken sex that I regretted
Or not
Too many times for mom to read about here
This was not that
This was different
With a one-night stand
I may have made some questionable choices
But they were my own choices

You made the choice to get drunk
You made the choice to flirt with this guy
I did
I also chose to eat a salad and wear red socks
How do any of those things forfeit my right to sex with consent
Here’s the thing about consent
It can only be given when your brain is functioning
It is the presence of a yes
Not the absence of a no
Do we need to start signing documents to begin getting this right

I don’t know a lot of things about that night
I have no memory
I will never know
Whether or not I was drugged
Turns out
Decisions to go to a SARC unit
Don’t always coincide with the life of a drug in your bloodstream
I will never know
Whether both of the guys in the hotel room where I woke up had sex with me
I will never know
How my glasses got broken
Why I had bruises all over my legs

Here is what I do know
If I wasn’t drugged
I was drunk to the point of confusion
Slurred speech
Falling over
Passing out
I also know
When I see someone like that coming out of a bar
I help them out
Hail a cab
Drive them home
In the absence of those actions
I leave them alone and hope they stay safe.

What I don’t do
Is take them back to my hotel room and have sex with them

I am a woman. I am a survivor and a fighter. I am a dreamer. I am a believer. I’m an Aunt, a sister, a daughter, friend and lover. I write out of the depths of all of these things that dwell in my soul.

How I Drown- Jessica Boyles


The first wave was a sneaker
A rogue
Smacked my back and sent me flailing
Without warning
Without a chance to gasp

The second wave took its time
Built momentum
With a deep sucking inhalation
It engulfed me
One with its water wall it charged us forward
Carrying me with locomotive fury
Slammed my body
Limp kelp slapping sand

The third and fourth waves hit in immediate succession
No chance to breach the surface
Desperate panic as lungs cannot wait it out
Breathe in the chaos
Lungs laden with brine

After that
The weight of dread in my belly
Held me under all on its own

I am a woman. I am a survivor and a fighter. I am a dreamer. I am a believer. I’m an Aunt, a sister, a daughter, friend and lover. I write out of the depths of all of these things that dwell in my soul.

From #metoo You- Roz Weaver


There is an anger that sits in the pit of your stomach

a sorrow that weighs down your bones

some days you bang your head against that brick wall and barely see a crack

you feel sick

your heart is tired

there is a before you and an after you and you don’t want to be you anymore.


Your recovery does not depend on

telling the police

telling anybody

other people’s responses

being believed

a police investigation

a CPS decision

a court finding

the length of a prison sentence

legal justice

whether you fought back

how many times you said no

or if you felt able to say it

what you were wearing

what you were doing before

what you did after

if you know them

if you still see them

how many times it happened

if it still happens

how long it took to sink in

what you did with any evidence

how much you remember

or what you do to forget

how you feel about yourself today

how you slept last night

and how many nightmares you have

what you ate today

being comfortable with physical contact

if your body feels like your own again yet

how often you cry

or feel any feelings at all

when you last had a panic attack

when you last hurt yourself

whether you feel like giving up today

how many times you have already tried to

any words shared about what happened to you

unless those words are yours.


Your recovery is yours

this they cannot take away from you

it depends on you alone

it is poetic

it cannot be compared or measured or judged

it happens at your pace

in your time

when you are ready

there is no way to fail.

So take that anger and take that sorrow

and you make this life beautiful anyway

stand with us

you are not alone.

I am a poet from the North of England and began writing in 2017 and performing my work in 2018. I have been published in ‘A Catalogue of Failure’ and in ‘Further Within Darkness and Light’ (out June 2018, published by Nothing Books).

I write at Under Compulsion Poetry. You can also follow me on Instagram @undercompulsionpoetry.