One Secret Thing – by DONNA DALLAS

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One Secret Thing


Live in this

they said

as they placed me

neatly onto the

pink rose-budded bedspread

in the room with white

and more white

so I would be well and

release festering thoughts

that wake me in the night

sweating thick to the point of oil

shaking to some madness of hot breath

on my neck

cold hands around me

But that was one night

one time

long ago in a life

not mine but the she before I

The she that was

lovely as a lilly! they said

Death is a long haul when you wait for it

you slowly

very slowly

creep into it while no one pays attention

Shredding the malaise into parts to contain each day

it’s the rotting from the inside out

whispers just under the skin

The Screwtape demon

forming a root in the rose-budded cell

with all the girlie stuff

The beckoning is cunning

over the edge of the bedspread

it waits

I somehow love it

yet I can’t quite make out

what it is

Only death is certain



Donna Dallas studied Creative Writing and Philosophy at NYU.  She meandered about before she became a successful business woman, married and mothered 2 beautiful children.  Over The years, she has written down events from scribbles to journals.  She has documented lives growing up poor, witnessing drugs, prostitution, overdoses and death. She has bundled stories of lives that fell apart in front of her or with her.  Donna has been published Mud Fish, Nocturnal Lyric, The Café Review, The New York Quarterly and was lucky enough to study under William Packard back in the day.  She took a slight hiatus and can most recently be found in 34th Parallel, Vending Machine Press, Anti-Heroin Chic and The Opiate Magazine.




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