Poetry collection by Emily Kleaver

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how desperately

the earth tugs us to itself

as I am growing branches out of my mouth

you’ll have seen better

I can lend you chalk

and when it only hurts your stomach more

I’m tearing ribs out

covered in stone

my spine drawing past my stomach

to rest flat against yours

pulling my hips down with it


Strawberry Gum to Cure Your Cavities

I think about what’s inside you sometimes

like if it’s black grapes, piled and oozing juice

or if it’s more like slime, stuck to your ribcage and making your breathing short

or if it’s hollow already and being eaten out by caterpillars

I wonder if they’ll ever make it past cocoons

to flutter out through your open mouth

and let your blood grow inside you

furious and red as grapefruits

your purple cheeks warming

hair growing blonde

teaching you

that your bones are clean enough

to inhale air

and exhale the sky


Paint-By-Number Jesus

I want only the best

for you

and you want nothing but pain

burning consumption

the feeling of weight on your chest

I want the entire fucking cosmos

for Tuesdays to never matter

I want chills at 9:07 pm

and the feeling that I’m losing everything

I want an earthquake in my knees

to bring it down, glass and all

I want only the best


Emily Kleaver is a carrot-top creative writing student living in the Philadelphia area. She has previously been published in Red Fez’s online literary magazine. In her free time, Emily enjoys playing guitar poorly (and loudly) enough to anger those around her, as well as attempting to create 4 am art in her basement.


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