Cellular Hierarchies, Effie Jia
i’ve heard about the man who eats boys
in the backseat of cars—we all have,
learned to fear him, the weeping pustule.
i didn’t think i’d come to know him,
let alone share his blood—
shame is a dog, no,
it’s a man who beats dogs
& grinds their teeth into
powder. when i came out
to my mother, she told me
it must come from somewhere—
a prison in kentucky, where my uncle
ate away at ten years for hands
on hips, slick from janitorial murk-
water, baptismal font
of the mop bucket, with a boy
of fifteen on his knees
but not praying.
shame is a hooked fish, no,
it’s a man who hooks his
finger under my tongue
& pulls it out. i’ve heard of girls
& i am one of them
& it’s not the same thing.
we are all the product of sex
or some lesser animal, a beast
with a mouth raised to haunt,
but my lover is my age
& she loves me & not with anything
around her neck. it’s not the same thing,
About the Author
Gabriella Grace · Bradley University
Gabrielle Grace Hogan is a poet from St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated undergrad from Bradley University in May 2019, and currently attends the University of Texas at Austin as part of the New Writers Project MFA for Poetry. Her work has been published by the Academy of American Poets, Sonora Review, Chicago Review of Books’ Arcturus, and others.
About the Artist
Effie Jia · Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Effie recently graduated from MIT, where she studied design and architecture. She loves to build things, draw, travel, hike, garden, and make Spotify playlists. Her interests range from fabrication to sustainability to literature and more; she is curious about everything.