reed shumpert

cause of death

some days i think about striking a match
against the concrete behind my house and setting
the great oak ablaze, watching embers float
skywards, setting cotton ball clouds on fire too.
collateral damage in the damnation.
break my hip bones and vertebrae
for cursing the odds of your survival.
use my blood splatter on the bathroom mirror
as some half-assed divination.
my split ends are clogging the bathroom sink.
whittle my skull into a coffee mug,
pretend the parts of me
you do not have the heart to get rid of yet
are peace offerings to long dead gods.
my death rattle is wrongly
translated into a christian confession
my grandfather’s ashes are procreating
with dust on a bottom shelf
where i will one day join him

rorschach poker

i see your hip bone butterfly wings
& i want to raise you, ante up
& offer the skin of my body,
extra syllables in my last name
only add lbs to the scale
my mother just bought,
fresh & new & yet to be

i am not afraid to die

forever finding breast bones
in darkness, i am reminded
of my own violent eyes,
fantasizing about tearing the
unevenness from
my hip fat &
serving it on a platter to
be toyed with but not


reed shumpert (they/them) is a writer, artist, and most importantly a cryptid from anderson, south carolina. they currently attend the south carolina governor’s school for the arts and humanities where they are focusing on creative writing. when they are skillfully avoiding working on revisions, they can be found playing video games, reading queer graphic novels, drawing, or laying on the floor and staring into space. they are very excited to be published for the first time.