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shadow people

in the corner of my eye

shadow puppets

on the walls of my mind.

is it psychosis or the Allegory of the Cave

in motion?

Pandora’s Box is open, the contents

strewn through Arachne’s tapestries;

the offering of six seeds by Hades

devoured the whole thing, pomegranate juice

dribbling over my lips,


now i live in shadow.

Atalanta’s golden apples in my eyes, i cherish

the glint of sunlight on the hard edge of the world.

i speak like Cassandra, only truth

backed by nothing but half-infallible faith in myself:

half-believe the half-mad princess!

but the ending of my story can be different [i must

have a chance, Eurydice reminds me] can’t it?:

split the difference, i’ll make you listen.

terror in the overcoming whisper

of this violent prophetic becoming

in the wake of a world that makes an offering of me.

in the myths, there is always

a price for the gift—mine is

the act of living.

Jess Roses (she/her) is a disabled, neurodivergent, emerging writer. Her focus is the transformation of relationships and experiences with pain and the taboo. She explores how these communal experiences form and relate to societal and personal narratives within and without the psyche. She has been published in Bloom Magazine, Coffin Bell Journal, Raven Review, Wishbone Words, and more. You can find her work on Instagram and TikTok at @jessroseswriting.

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