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Flecks of skin in the carpet of Chez Pierre’s–
each one, right now, remembering me–
a magnetic migratory pull calling them home.

These are just a few of my darklings,
my bits gone brittle with shame
longing to come back,
sending out scouts to sniff the souls of my feet while I sleep.

These are my darklings
I made room for by learning to be still,
to wait for the wounds to stop shrieking
so I could welcome them back:
my uglies, my embarasseds
and especially my bruises
that faded to yellow and left so quickly
I never knew them in their proper shades of blue.
These are my darklings:
sliding off barstools,
pushing past bouncers,
marching down highways;
all my unloved children,
waking feral,
glittering and angry.


Shannon Quinn lives in Toronto. Her work has appeared in The Literary Review of Canada, Etchings, Maisonneuve, Existere, Subterrain and here in Halfway Down the Stairs.

© 2013, Shannon Quinn

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