America the—

America the

by Natalie R. Quiles

What a world to enterwith faded, bleeding edges.Heartbroken fury does not begin to cover the feeling unearthed by this injustice.
To concede to the ruling of a fake court in a country founded on stolen land. This land is neither yours nor mine, but a horrorscape of their own creation. As a child, you hope
to trust authority,to believe that our society has morals, that our lands and our leaders are the ones to be proud of— who will do the right thing.
It is a constant unlearning, a relentless beating on your own idiocy to believe such lies.
grow up, the voice in the back of your head shouts. loudly, bruskly. we’ve got work to do.
Where can we go that is not scorched earth?How can we exist in this space? How do I risewith hope inflating my lungs again?
The anger in my body has nowhere to goand it’s going to choke me trying to get out.
it is a slow death, to lay helpless beneath the rubble of a society crumbling I scribble over truths I cannot admit in the light of day. Instead, I google valkyries, supernatural warrior women.In Norse literature, Valkyries were associated with fairness, brightness, and gold, as well as bloodshed.
--The snake coiled against my spine unfurls itself, slithering up and around the expanse of my shoulder. It whispers to me, a slow show of seduction.
Shout, scream, stand up. The snake's cold tongue licks the outside of my ear and I shiver. To remain silent is to accept defeat.


Featured in our October 2022 issue, "Haunted"