A spine stripped of courage

is a line that stutters,

a quivering string, a deep flutter

down a skeletal trail.


The beat of accelerated thoughts

clicks menacingly in your chest,

while the rest of that adrenaline settles

stinging in your gut.

Try to breathe it soft.




Sarah Varnam is a Toronto-based writer, editor, artist, and publisher. She runs The Quilliad Press (thequilliad.wordpress.com) and the Apple of my Odd Eye Artist Collective (appleofmyoddeye.wordpress.com). Her work has been published in Third Wednesday, Poetry Nook, and Chrysalis, among others, and she recently received two OAC Writers’ Reserve grants for poetry collections in progress.