They loped up to me

Natalie Chyi
Photo courtesy of Natalie Chyi

‘Baby, hold yourself
together, they can
smell your fear.’
I grew up warned,
always held my breath
and willed my fluttering
heart to still
when they passed by

grinned wolfishly at
my startled gaze,

‘Baby, don’t fall apart,
they can sense weakness.’
she was waiting
when the door slammed,
showed me thick scars
across both wrists
said a nasty dog had given
them to her
when she was my age
and he tried to mark
her as his own

laid low long enough
to get me to trust them

‘Baby, keep going
when they bark at you.
They see the moon
in the way you walk,
but keep going.’
hungry for the magic
in my blood
they snap at my heels
howling as I pass

it started out as tug-of-war,
ended with me
on the floor





Nicole DeardorffNicole Deardorff is a 19-year-old queer actor, dancer, and writer. She began writing poetry as a way to stay sane. She isn’t sure how well that has worked, but she is at least still alive. Her writing has won multiple awards from Scholastic Art and Writing Competition, the most notable of which is a National Silver Metal in 2014. In 2013 she won the First Annual Mudsock Poetry Slam, and her poetry was recently featured on the online magazine Twenty-One Pearls. Check out more of her work at


Natalie Chyi is an 18-year-old from Hong Kong who has recently moved to London, where she will be studying law for the next three years. She started photography to capture moments and pretty things/people/light/scenes as she sees them, and that idea is what continues to fuel all of her work. Find more of her work on, Facebook, or Tumblr.

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