frances koziar

The pain claws my insides
as if demons have burrowed into
my wounds, kicking and scraping
every time the past flickers
to life like a dying lamp
in the cells of my heart; agony
traces its nails like a lover
along the scars of my flesh, sings
of enemies and of wars long since
ended; as if I have heard
so many explosions that my ears
can no longer hear the silence,
I have been attacked so many times
that a finger can feel like a blade,
a voice like a death sentence,
a smile like the lies they told me
in those dungeons, my bed
like the cold stone floor
of my childhood


Frances Koziar has publications in 25+ literary magazines, and is seeking an agent for a diverse NA/YA fantasy novel. One of her poems shortlisted for the 2019 Molotov Cocktail Shadow Award Contest, and her poetry has appeared in Acta Victoriana, Snapdragon, and Shot Glass Journal. She is a young retired (disabled) academic, a social justice advocate, and a writer lacking 4+ kinds of privilege. She lives in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Author website: