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this body is not my last word

Lucia Larsen

**content warning: use of the term "d*kes"**

werewolves howl throughout the night,

rolling thunderclaps of girl gangs wander

through the city streets, but in the morning when

I dare to mention how they wake me from sleep,

how I practice baby yelps from my hiding place:

stuffed behind cocktail dresses in a walk-in closet,

doctors rush to diagnose me with tinnitus, relegating

the call of my kind to the city block of my inner conch,

but as soon as the white noise of my prophetic chants

ceases under the glow of the moon, they are there,

cracking my glass panes with a howling chorus, yipping at

my ear drum, gently coaxing new language from my body,

one that reverberates out of my cocked head and

into the vast highlands looming over my ear canal,

raising up new voices to join the hunt, a crowd

of loud-mouthed bikers and unapologetic dykes,

a shadow puppet theatre for all the insomniac women,

craning their necks out the backlit window for a glimpse

of the wolves they swear they can hear, and yet still the

drowsy husbands mutter “it's all in your head” with the

practiced patience of a well-reasoned man not cursed with tinnitus,

some of the women stare with curious horror at what they could be

and some with jealous wonder, meditating in the moonlight,

manifesting the fur on their legs, their haunches buckling,

claws creating grooves across the new hardwood floors,

their spines elongating to meet their hungry noses,

their heads breaking open into greedy orifices, nostrils vacuuming

smells out of the air and into their gaping minds: the motor oil and

wet hair and bad breath of their pack, dilating eager muscles in an

undulating wave down their new bodies, made to launch

About the Author

Lucia Larsen (she/her) is currently studying for her MSc in Environmental Management at the University of Stirling. Her published work can be viewed at and she can be found on Twitter @mslucialarsen.

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