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May 9, 2023

dust, on dust

Anna Kate Vaughn
dust, on dust

can you see through me to my skeleton

can you hold my bare bones with your eyes

will you bruise my trachea too

or are your hands withering away like mine

you tell me it won't hurt one bit

and i just smile

or try to

nothing hurts me anymore.

i have a thousand years of dust

aching in me

choking out all else.

a man convinced me 


that i still possessed the room for a little love

and he cleared out a tiny corner 

of the space between my lungs and sat there 

holding the darkness between his teeth for a good while

it consumed him.

i consumed him


like a tree eating a dead thing.

to dust you will return.

but if i am already dust, what then?

have i returned?

Anna Kate Vaughan is a Korean American poet and artist based in Texas. She is currently a student at Trinity University, studying Psychology and Theatre. Anna Kate has competed in poetry and Shakespeare festivals, and also enjoys storytelling through the performing arts. She has been published in the first anthology of Campfire Poets, Campfire One, curated by Maria Giesbrecht, and you can follow her work at @poemsbyannakate on Instagram.

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