“Tongue,” “2012” & “Chastened” by Kimaya Diggs

Geometric abstract illustrations, primarily black and white with thin lines in rainbow colors


Last night at her show
Maria Bamford did a bit
about her time in and out of psych wards. 
And then I dreamt of running from beige tigers
and ignoring my husband asking me
why can’t you let me keep you safe?
I always did it with my hands. 
The strangeness never escaped me.
As soon as the world vanished, so did I, 
and somewhere in my room
my body would slacken and wait
for my ghost to return. 
I had forgotten, though,
how after
the tongue stays numb for hours
like a dead thing in the mouth. 


It isn’t dark like people say
no chasm-canyon-crater-cleft to fall in
I’ve found it bright here, but misty
so the sun spreads out 
fills the space
and blinds in a diffuse and heatless way.
Then I wonder where I am and why 
and then who I am


A hundred bald women with glimmering claws
the cheerful blue lettering that slants along the screen
at the kitchen table when I kiss you goodnight

my eyes bat-blind reading every sign like a witch’s spot
ever since I was eight
ever since I was eight
ever since I was eight I was ten
ever since I was ten I was twenty
these extra twelve years dragged the fat from my face
I could feel my skeleton skull
with my fingers in a snow-dark room

you are of God
bathed in bottled holy water 
your bones are composite communion wafers
from the Vatican and soaked in wine
compacted by the threat of hellfire
but they rot inside
and this rot made you
infect me

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Kimaya Diggs is a musician, writer, and teaching artist based in Western Massachusetts. Kimaya holds a degree in creative writing from Swarthmore College, and was a 2017 Callaloo Fellow.

Caitlin Bechtel is a designer living in Portland, OR. She makes photographs about loneliness and embroideries about neurosis. She studied photography at Massachusetts College of Art & Design and graphic design at Pacific Northwest College of Art. She’s on instagram @ccccaitlin.