TWO: Sonya Vatomsky & Friends / by Sonya Vatomsky


for jp

Over the winter one learns a lot, like
how to eat your own snakeskin and the smell
of nostalgia and how to not take it personally
when something happens
that is very personal.

I drew you out like an infection,
a burr, a splinter in the heel of our shared thirst;
that polyglot gluttony where I conjugate
as you decline
and the air bares its teeth to bite
the part of the night we don’t mind not remembering.

It is good to keep company
with alchemists, to spin the wool of adolescence
into amends for that last great chill,
when the salt was mistaken for sugar and
the whole damned thing went awry
because baking is a virtue. I can’t help but think

I am virtuous.

My boots fill with mud, and my cup fills with wine,
and our eyes fill the other’s like a sea
reflected in a well
dug by soft, blister-free fingers. What
are you supposed to do when your friends die
before you’ve finished your drink? It’s enjoyable
to be alone,
but never without warning.

Send my regards to the void; we’ll meet up again
or we won’t and my guts will unclench
or they won’t and it’ll mean something then
(or it won’t)
and I’ll keep sucking on this life
‘til it loses all flavor.





Sonya Vatomsky is a Moscow-­born, Seattle-­raised ghost. They are the author of Salt is for Curing (Sator Press) & My Heart in Aspic (Porkbelly Press) and a poetry editor at Anthropoid. Find them by saying their name five times in front of a bathroom mirror or at

J Paige Heinen lives in Bellingham, WA with her very fluffy cat, Sim. She enjoys taking long walks to look at the sky, and conversations about favorite childhood breakfast cereals. Sim's favorite cereal is turkey.