February 11, RIP


Anastasia Jill



Hysteria is here. Took my vitals, my underwear.
I wasn’t scared here. I was bred here, in walls
coughing up defecation the way horizons
do yellow on sunsets.
Six males whose cells charge their fingers for
dominance spell their metrics with their fists
on glass. They have to pee, and not
in the precision cooker provided.
Their cells materialize into handles that
the village took away. No one leaves here until told
but they don’t need to do what they’re told.
They stare out through bifocal glasses at me,
at the 90s appeal because they haven’t left the
since ‘99, and I am some fake young girl with an

Ariel complex and there are “really sick people
down the hall.”

I don’t get a toilet, window, or lock either.
I am incapable of communicating with adults
because their minds are wrapped in confluent
Their tune sticks to my head by their spit.
I don’t listen. But I know. I love their song so
The lullaby of oven bulbs and the
Involuntarily communicative cookie ash.
I am the hair, red. I am burning up.
I’m in the oven, I tell someone who isn’t in the

Anastasia Jill (she/they) is a queer writer living in Central Florida. She has been nominated for Best American Short Stories, Best of the Net, and several other honors. Her work has been featured in Poets.org, Pithead Chapel, Contemporary Verse 2, OxMag, Broken Pencil, and more. Follow her on Instagram @anastasiajillies

© Variant Literature Inc 2021