for the time i saw Marsha P. Johnson at the Stonewall Inn on a visit to new york city

Blue, Linnea Shurig

surely not the ghost 

of your body 

inflated with the hudson 

like an old mylar balloon

the kind a child begs for 

and then abandons 

to wander through hallways 

until it withers 

and dies

i imagine you 

as you were—

a whole generation of queers

in your hair

a brick in your hand

the birth of a movement

on your slight shoulders 

not this ghastly apparition:

eyes protruding from your head

tongue drooping down your chin

skin glistening and slimy 

like the underbelly 

of a snail

i reach for your hand 

and it unravels in mine

rolls and rolls of loose skin 


in between my fingers

i keep pulling

unspinning you like a ball of yarn

until we are both nothing 

but bone 

About the Author

Mary Alice Hughes · Auburn University

Mary Alice Hughes is a senior at Auburn University pursuing a degree in public relations with a minor in creative writing. She’s a lover of the arts, a queer history fanatic and an avid animal lover. “for the time i saw Marsha P. Johnson at the Stonewall Inn on a visit to new york city” first appeared in The Auburn Circle. 

About the Artist

Linnea Schurig · Grinnell College

Linnea Schurig is originally from San Rafael, California. She is currently a senior at Grinnell College, co-captain of the ultimate frisbee team Grinneleanor Roosevelts, and she frequently paints. “Blue” was originally published in The Grinnell Review.

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