She looks in each cell 

for Nefertiti.

"We all come from the same

atom," he said.

And then a queen

was inside her,

and the dirt of Gettysburg

made up the brown

in her eyes.

"Then," he said, "we shed

each century

like snakes do

the daybreak."

And, terrified,

she seized each nucleus,

hoping for

a diamond pore,

a last remnant of an empress,

a piece of Elvis

to hold onto.

And she never bathed

because Shakespeare

might leave her

and give his verses, his genius

to the next living thing -

to the cockroaches,

the river’s bend.


there are so many insides

between us

liver spleen and gut

we're strangers

you took me to atlantic city

fat caterpillars in tube tops

stroll on wood by sea

the taffy twinkles like a 1950s postcard

green lime smells of salt

digests in us in stops and starts

and i dream of coming

like the earth's insides

spilling out in a hot red

murdering mess

neruda keats digiorgio

they can only see so much of me

my pools of narcissus

i don't know them at all

an orange has a sunset


a worm a muddy stream

paper has tiny birch tree snow

a split plum reveals the color 

of human skin 

and when you and i kiss

a secret

small and scared


from my stomach

to yours

and brings back only

a whisper

Brigit Kelly Young's poetry and fiction have appeared in several venues including Opium Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, The North American Review, Gargoyle Magazine and Drunken Boat Magazine. Links to her work are available at

Images by Elfie Hintington courtesy of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Copyright © 2016, Otis Nebula Press. All rights reserved.