Gabrielle Grace Hogan



                  — after sam sax



my brother hits a deer on his way home. he pulls up to the

            garage, tires tangled in ribbons of blood

& meat. our high-pressure hose can’t shed guts from rubber;

            they will still be there by morning.

maybe under missouri sun, they will melt—butter—or maybe

            fry—venison! that kind of burning,

that sweet skulking husk of a smell—you know it, don’t you?

            there are bird carcasses in the yard now,


wrenched from migration by the rotten thickening as it grabs at

            more life to swallow & oh, look at that

bloat; i will serve these with canned beans later. the pink meat

            behind my eye throbs. my gut

is a dinner plate for salt & smoke, is a shotgun for this antlered

            pulse. my third grade best friend’s

home, all those mounted heads with eyes hollow & black

            & black & black;


the dahmerinian basement conceals their bodies below. a skinned,

            pink stag wavers on a hook

next to her legos. in another world, this means something.

            in this one, i don’t let it. what is a synonym

for raw. for sinew. for flesh. for fingers. for toes. the skin of a peach

            bleeds more than i can stand already—

the body bursts like a hard-plucked seed, it always does.

            my grandmother is dying in a hospital bed


& i am too disgusted to touch her hand. i refuse the tenebrous caliban

            who i am destined to pull from the skin in time,

another untouched & always-cracking woman in my ancestry—

            this isn’t funny, but it has to be.

my mother says not to cry, that the doe was dead already,

            but my brother swears it was alive,


looking at him.




Gabrielle Grace Hogan is currently an undergrad at Bradley University. Her work has been published in or by MISTRESS, the Diverse Arts Project Journal, Academy of American Poets, and others. She originates from St. Louis, Missouri, proudly and loudly. Find her at her website,, or on Instagram @Gabigail97.