Emily Ellison – my cat ate my cactus

Emily Ellison

my cat ate my cactus

as if he wanted his budded tongue
to similarly sprout and pickle
thorns from the papillae,

                his succulent organ
                transfuses affection
                through needles, his love

needles, the result of our anemic
communication is the thick-furred
speech taking violent expression
in each lick, my arm is a board

to carve desperations of enforced silence—
so is expressed love in its more accurate ache,

a removal of oneself to soothe the swelling of another.


Emily Ellison is a first year MFA poet at Texas State University; she also works as an Instructional Assistant for their English faculty. She lives in San Marcos, Texas with two cats and an abundance of plants.

Issue 4 • Next: Tanner Lee – under my fingernails I write