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When Ry came back from therapy

he came back a ghost. The doctors said that if he survived deconstruction, he would be cured. He would be Girl. So he was sent away to die. They taught him shame and self-hate through torture, turned him into a ghost. Then they taught him Girl. They taught him pretty, petite, invisible. They taught him makeup and dates with boys and silence. They killed him and sent his body back home with a new resident. Now, he writes in red on the walls of his body. It is the only thing he can do to prove he is still there. Sometimes, I see something behind his eyes shaking the furniture in his mind, but it flickers away, replaced with pretty empty Rylie and her new paint smile. I can see bits of him calling for help from the afterlife, but how do you resurrect someone who never quite died?

Jay Artemis Hull is a recent graduate of Michigan State University most likely to be found writing in odd places or wandering in the woods. Their work has found a home in literary journals such as the Offbeat and Portage Magazine as well as more unconventional places including Jay’s poetry blog and engraved in Michigan State University’s sidewalk.


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