As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Shauna Osborn – Poetry


you remember hatching from a purple oval shell

[everyday a re-enactment
of the creation story] the feel
of someone rubbing the blades of your shoulders
that unfold ochre & maroon tinted wings
sticky with amniotic fluid

black charcoal haze cover mua[1]

cloud her face

& when you try to write

to sketch
to draw

she stands behind you
eyes bandaged & bulging

in her hands she holds
a bouquet of bloodied brown feathers
which she drops one by one
to float zig zag across your line of vision
& pile upon the blank white page

the gray & silver stars
try to push through the holes &
in time your eyes are open
the sea foam green ceiling cracks & caves
all you hear is the wind
pushing through the window panes & busted rafters
the yutaibo[2] medea begins to wail & thrash
as your hands become covered in black dust

opaque black dust that hovers
regardless of soap/bleach/steel wool
your skin becomes brittle & raw
& in your head you begin to scream
& in your head you are screaming blood
but from your larynx
a single simple sputter escapes

you feel cold marble under your slashed


you smell musk & branding irons from the
east as gloved hands clasp over your lips

your wings & arms cut
before artificial light scatters its

& every time you arch your
scaled back or twist too far
either direction you wince,
you feel the rough itch in
your scars as if your decayed
wings wish to sprout open
anew, feel the wind envelope
the taunt membrane between
your bones & fly

[1] moon

[2] Mexican

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAShauna Osborn is a Comanche/German mestiza who works as an instructor, wordsmith, and community organizer in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Recently, she received the Luminaire Award for Best Poetry from Alternating Current Press. Her creative work can be found in issues of Cultural Weekly, Cyclamen & Swords, Go Read Your Lunch, Toe Good,  Poets’ Quarterly, Spiral Orb, Puerto Del Sol, Poiesis, and Upstreet.  You can find her online at

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