Pain, simply, can be a journey if you believe there are rules to finding, like desire, a dark room inside of you where every animal nicks your throat
if provoked. At nineteen, even my clothes slept breathless. That’s how I wanted my body to be taken, how one leaves the country of her rapist:
transfigured, pleading with air. How little one must feel gaped open like that—a keyhole in a drought shaped as a fish, disbelieving the survival of light.
Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick's work has appeared in Salt Hill, Versal, The Texas Observer, Devil's Lake, Four Way Review, Sugar House Review, Huffington Post UK, among others. A graduate from Sarah Lawrence College's MFA program, Hardwick serves as the poetry editor for The Boiler Journal and her first full-length, Before Isadore, was recently published by Sundress Publications.