motel 15 

the back of my mouth tastes like spitslick vomit burns like vagrancy opens like a wound like vacancy. i’m fifteen but i’ve vacated my body a thousand times over just for boys that’d empty into anything clean. i’m fifteen but at night i pry off a hundred hydra hands ‘til i wake sticking to the sheets like a used condom. ha. at least i'm not empty. the light from that hall and flickerbuzz of those streets stuffed spoiled in my chest like it’s the backside dumpster. not empty as i let the vacancy sign sputter on--i don’t remember when he stopped, but i wish he hadn’t. maybe then i wouldn’t pretend that the shove back down was tenderness, that his grip didn’t squeeze all the blood from my wrists. maybe then my heart wouldn’t pound against the doors every night, begging to run into the black back after him.


rules for scavenging 

trust your fear of the dark even when the night feels like the promise in his hand around your wrist. unless it's cut open and gushing out on the pavement, a body stronger than yours is always a threat. even boys like him grow a new row of teeth every hour after sundown; even warm hands will push your shirt up past your breasts, cold sting, dig a blade between your ribs & slit straight down, leave your intestines hanging out. the street lamps will only catch on their soft smiles or their knuckles, clean and innocent, but think of the warm lit face of a rock and everything crawling beneath. think of what that means when the inside of your body is cold and dark and emptyemptyempty

6 March, 2021

Gabriella McField is in love with words and everything green, growing, and wild. Her work therefore often touches on the body or the wilderness in some way--you can read it in The Bitter Fruit Review and Velvet Fields, among others. When she's not writing poetry, she's working as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Ogma Magazine. She tweets @parkmcfield.