100 Acres, Martin Swift



I try my best to ignore the man under my mattress


He talks about the little kids

that he put in his backpack

and how I will be just the right size


I’ve seen his backpack before—

green and canvas and small

He will have to bend my limbs and snap my fingers and turn my neck

in order to fit me inside


I don’t want to go where I know he will take me

to the woods beside the railroad tracks

rusty and dead and cold


I hate the thought of lying on the leaf remains—

listening to the trains charge by

cutting through the hopeless air


I feel his fingertips through the mattress

measuring the outline of my body


About the Author

Kendall Nelson, Emerson

A junior majoring in writing, literature, and publishing, Kendall Nelson has been published in on-campus literary magazines and works as a reader for Gangsters in Concrete. She also assists in leading the Writer’s Block learning community in the residence halls.

About the Artist

Martin Swift, Carnegie Mellon University

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, and brought up near Washington, D.C., Martin Swift is a painter and illustrator completing his senior year at the Carnegie Mellon School of Art. His painstakingly detailed linear illustration explore the dark side of the childhood subconscious.

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