Shira Haus



A bottle washes up on the edge

of the shore. Inside are your dreams from

seven years old. Crumpled, crayon-stained paper,

dragon breathing fire into cold night.


Last night you dreamed

of your house burning down

and your family picking flowers

in the garden out front, oblivious,

while you tore at the soft blue curtains

on your top-floor bedroom.



Again it is night. There’s this scene in a movie you saw

once, where the straw man sways in the empty field

and the boy picks bones from his teeth. It is night and

the shed is full of cobwebbed silk, home for

many-legged creeping things.

You take a look at your fingernails:

ink-stained, jagged, yours,

the light aching through

thin crescent moons, controlling tide.



Fingernails too short to scratch

the bite, you leave it unsatisfied while the

gnawing grows and grows, monster.

Straw man stands in an open field, crows

jabbing their hooks into open sockets in search

of something like meat. You light

your hair on fire to see in the dark, eyes open,

painless and wonderful. Wander away, no

mother calling after heavy footprints, one locked door.



It is night and once again the monster creeps out

from under the bed. Boy looks at moon,

cold and distant rock, hanging

and solitary. Boy looks at moon, hungry,

and buries his bones too deep to unearth.




Shira Haus is a student at Allegheny College studying English, Spanish, and political science. Haus’s work has been published in places such as the Albion Review, Snapdragon Journal, and the Oakland Arts Review. Haus has always been interested in exploring humanity’s darker, more intense emotions and desires through literature. In free time, Haus likes to read, cook, and knit while daydreaming about herding sheep in the mountains.