Spectral Evidence

Lauren Michelle Finkle


Do I not wish for power

in this


of a life?


But I am only safe in the dark.


I know that they still hunt,

even with the centuries of knowledge

thick like dust between the trials

and today.


It’s the same bible that they use

to condemn us in the new millennium.


So I send my familiar into the night

looking for


and our kind.


The torches are gone now,


along with the pyres.

Why kill with fire when there are

bullets, silver for the monsters

they see us as.


My familiar is the one willing to go

to the stake for a moment like this


a woman’s lipstick on her cheek,

lust like the liquor in a cocktail


with ice-cold shame.


I still confess my queerness in whispers,


the words translucent as folklore.

But the moon’s eye widens each night

and I will need to be ready soon.


For now I practice something that looks like love —

with lavender drying in the kitchen,

and violets purpling in the bedroom.




Lauren Michelle Finkle is a queer writer and artist living in Los Gatos, California, with her faithful spaniel Annie Jo. She received her BA in English and creative writing at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in the West Trade Review, HASH Journal, and Westwind: UCLA’s Journal of the Arts, among others.