Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern


Christmas Day Blackblooded I Get Everything I Want

Meaning karma has failed 
and I return no venomous 
pregnancy narrative spitting 
orange at the shattered 
horizon Slept in my car 

to avoid intimacy with a man 
who once sobbed on my belly lifted 
my hair in the shower 
while I giggling washed 
from me his saccharine 

pheromone Each minute touching 
him new-citied felt a dutiful favor 
to younger selves On TV 
Illinois is devastated littered 
with vagrant wood There are fires 

tonight in Paris The president claims
to care about farmers In America’s 
forgotten earlobe I lack 
resolve and cigarettes I desire 
to be sentimental 

violently Like moths 
fucking themselves 
against a light fixture 
in a rainstorm If there’s a pool 
table why not lay 

your body across it let townies
with sticks enact whatever
they deem justice The lamps
so generous spilling
blue I’m ashamed at my own 

craving for myth Woke
in the parking lot parallel
to an old life and mist
pooling the crick in my neck
Friend tells me stories of people took 

fingernail scars on their faces
under the weary guise
of livelihood performed
as compassion I ask him teach me
how to destroy something and get 

away with it We like to
believe we are sympathetic
villains we can sometimes stare 
so hard we forget language
is a sandwich of graves So what 

I loved wrong hoof-trampled I folded
like a collapsed star told no one broke
words like plates with my ceramic fists 
A man called me by my body I tilted 
my jaw to the sky 

and laughed out a field of crows

Erin Slaughter is editor and co-founder of The Hunger, and the author of I Will Tell This Story to the Sun Until You Remember That You Are the Sun (forthcoming from New Rivers Press in 2019). Her writing has appeared inThe Rumpus, Prairie Schooner, Split Lip Magazine, New South, Passages North, Black Warrior Review online and elsewhere. Originally from north Texas, she is pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at Florida State University. You can find her online at