A cold in january
By Devony Hof
•   •   •
sickness is a hostile womb

strands of snot hang across lamps,
glistening in the cold light of a new year

old christmas decorations dangle like tattered wigs
I cough up hours in phlegmy balls while

radiators gurgle

curled up, I could pretend the blanket
was a hand on my cheek

in the fur of a teddy bear, I smell my infant nightmares
but the blanket does not tell me to forget

go back to sleep

during my hibernation, bouquets of tissue
grow legs and colonize the apartment

the cord of twisted pill labels

[active ingredients: acetaminophen, phenylephrine, sodium hypochlorite, euphoria, sage, dock root, moth wings, moon juice, growth encouragements, blood orange slices red like a sunset]

ties me to the fridge like an eminent river, the kind
you find on maps

now the mold whispers lullabies
of the dark and the earth and

the secrets pressed between the walls like dried flowers

              where you drip, i drink
              i’m the reflection in your sink,
              the centipedes inscribe eulogies
              on your combs, they smell your jewelries
              deep below you cannot blink
              there i sink, there i drink

I wish the landlord hadn’t bricked up the hearth.
I wish there was someone to make me tea.
I curl up inside dark chambers, wishes turning inside of me.
•   •   •
Devony Hof is a poet and playwright from Palo Alto, CA, currently based in Chicago. She has a BA in English and Theatre from Northwestern, where she received an award for Best Honors Thesis. Her poetry is published or upcoming in Right Hand Pointing, Spell Jar Press, Wildroof Journal and Helicon Magazine. Follow on instagram at @devonyhof.

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