Swallowed and other poems 

by Lucia Larsen

[cw: sexual imagery]


swallowed by you

a piece of my flesh survived

stuck between your teeth

hidden from your searching nail

a barnacle on your skeleton

after you starve to death

swallowed by plant

by creature, by evolution

starved and swallowed

across a millennium

two atoms, a blooming bivalve

swimming in a empty universe

and if we could communicate

in a way that mattered to selves

long past recycled

you would say, ‘remember

when I swallowed you?’

and we would chuckle to ourselves

as we drifted on


on the tide of a universe

now diluted to nothing


If I was the last of my kind

I would be moral

Cain could not murder without Abel

I would be genius

I would be beautiful

I would be free

My thoughts: original

My curves: breed standard

My expanse: abyssal gigantism

I would cover the earth like ouroboros

Snaking around to suck my own tail

My every quirk: evolution

My every mutation: advantage

My every competition: merely nature

The apex predators will draw me on their maps

In shanties: rhapsodised

In labs: dissected

My feathers and scales: preserved and revered

Endling: forgotten

A circus sideshow for the fantastic and strange

They will expand not in body but in fences and footprints

They will cross my amber corpse to meet their dead

Watering Hole

the last eye at the

watering hole will trace

in the sand

everything she remembers

her art will be resurrected

to draw their own


and so on and on

eyes drawing eyes drawing eyes

they are the god

of my distress

even her, even me


reading your words it occurs to me that I

should write this book I’m reading

we cannot help the recycling of inspiration

and everyone knows muses are polyamorous

if your love for her ignited mine

know we are both just notches on her bedpost

reaching for the real thing

that does not come in words


The taste of sugar

leaves me aching for water,

but on my wizened tongue

even the snow melts like candy,

as if evoking an ancient memory between atoms

of a past when rivers ran sweet

How long ago did syrup turn to brine in our lochs?

Was it after the ruins of the last great civilization

finally eroded away?

Was it once the final traces of the beings that once

built upon our earth

were taken up in the last great tides of the sea?

Someday soon,

when our graveyards and libraries

are flooded in lava or coral

so that a new race can flourish,

when our remnants are only left in the water,

I wonder,

what will the rivers taste like?

Lucia Larsen is currently studying for her MSc in Environmental Management at the University of Stirling. Her work has appeared in The Unpublishable Zine, Tealight Press, Neuro Logical, and Tipping the Scales. Twitter @mslucialarsen