by Astrid Brigwood

My gums swelling, my teeth

dandelions from the coffee, gnawed

by the years I spent deprived and acidic

bitter like the first born, lying like half-life.

I spend every morning pouring over warnings

delivered on the petal lips of saints, towers of glass

collapsing, earthquakes down to the molten core

bodies piling up in Central Park, rivers running with fire.

Call it paranoia but I prefer ​miracle, gifted

with holy knowledge, plague and pestilence,

black bile in my mouth. Stolen from me in whispers

Laughing as I fall, palms clutching at cracked cement,

begging or mourning. I pry secrets from that

weed-split asphalt, better augury than God’s will in

entrails. Prophecy read with dripping-guilty

honeyed tongues powder-white from cyanide.

Language is famine in my throat, empty words

a bloodbath. Broken promises dog me, mirrors

betray oracle-heavy omens; awful truths from my eye’s revenge-red


Astrid Bridgwood is an eighteen year old poet from North Carolina with a love for punk and playing guitar. Astrid’s work focuses on her struggle with body image, mental health and girlhood. You can also find her featured in the Summer 2020 Issue of Peregrine Mag, and on Twitter @ivymedusa.