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Marigolds & Death's Head Moth, Jessica Drake-Thomas

I’ve never been an aggressor before. In this scene, I am the one holding the knife to her back. Ahead of me, our feet crunching in the gravel, she walks into the tunnel, into darkness. It swallows her whole.

Asylum is a word that waits like a talisman under my tongue, a death’s head moth that will spread her wings open wide when I release her. Bares her second face to the sun, feels the warmth. Pollen floats upward, covering her skin with gold.

If I stand on the tracks at midnight or high noon, if I do not move or blink, maybe she will reappear from the hell she went to. I will draw three black crosses on the crypt for her, drop marigolds beneath our name. Send me your blessings, sleeping one. Open your eyes, break me open, claw your way out from my back.

I scream as she tears open my skin to breathe, rattling like a snake’s warning.


Jessica Drake-Thomas is a poet & fiction-writer. She's the author of "Burials", a gothic horror poetry collection. She's a poetry editor at Coffin Bell Journal. She's a witchy-type who loves her magic like her coffee: dark, with sugar.

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