Allison Casey


The ceiling crawls with a crowd
of moths. As this fleet moves, gentle
dust drifts down. The insides of my ribs
get coated in the stuff.

Like first snowfall, this flight-ash
hushes everything. It spreads over lungs.
Wing-scales laying concentric,
crowding out speech.

But this is familiar: the back
of my throat has grown raw
from keeping down words.
My hard palate buzzes

with stridulation. Leather along
wing in calling melody, seeking out
mate or friend or, like beacon,
help – to live in mutualistic bond.

But there is no other member
of my species living. My love language
has been long buried beneath mulch.
The moths chew holes into it.

In my bed, I pull out
fingernails, from their beds. Count
the calendar days with keratin.
Count the seconds’ pass. Will courage.

When I do open my mouth, part
chapped lips to throw my song,
my tongue lifts, reveals only
slime-covered cocoon.



Allison Casey is a graduate of the Creative Writing MFA program at Rutgers Camden. A New Jersey native, Allison received her BA in English and Certificate in Creative Writing from Rutgers New Brunswick. While her first and second loves are her cat and coffee, respectively, poetry comes in at a close third. Her work has been published in Occulum Journal, Moonchild Magazine, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry.