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The Naked Rot


Illustration by Sarah Delli Colli

by Frank Lasocki

It came clawing at my door one morning

clicking and rattling its yellow tongue


sprung up from the warm belly of August,

a warped eye against my peephole.


I told myself I could do without supermarkets

without the gas station, the laundromat


but nineteen days of cowering in dirty underwear 

drove my fingers to the doorknob –


a lick and a nuzzle

and I was done for.


Dropped dead on my own welcome mat

jaw open, salivating onto capital L.


A second me rose up swiftly

taking over my phone, my family,


my furnished, bright seventh-floor apartment

sinking new teeth into my toothpaste.


A full-blooded imposter with a heavy stride

hauling back groceries on Tuesday nights,


indulging in the sweet rush of cigarettes

and cold drops of white milk,


my body a sad sack of marbles 

shoved aside by a hard, familiar foot.

Shir Ariya studies Screenwriting at London Film School. She spends her free time writing, drawing and consuming as much art as possible.

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