Katie Hunter

My name went missing once

in roll call,

on the playground

An orphan in wet earth.

I sacrificed.

My mouth slicked oil on

the sand

But I found nothing.

No vowels

no roots to plant under

my eyelet-lace pillow.

I wore pinks to ash

Stuffed paper into

steel traps

Have you seen me?

My name a hostage with no ransom note.

One night my name returned

but missing letters

Whole syllables, silver flesh

Still breathing in my father’s hand

Swollen knuckles on the blade

You try now he said

When I sliced the gills bloomed

crimson but I did not cry.

So when you ask me

for my name


That when I found it

by the monkey bars



I cut it into pieces

and swallowed them

One by one.

Katie (she/her/hers) is a writer and educator based in Oakland. She’s currently pursuing her MA in English with a Creative Writing concentration at San Francisco State University. Her work has been published in the Bold Italic, Porridge Magazine, The ANA, Hecate Magazine and Rebel Girls. You can find her at katiehunterwriter.com and @kahunteroma.

The author and editors encourage readers to donate to 826 Valencia here.