Cassidy McFadzean


Teenage scars migrate from arm to bicep

Those clumps in the toilet A heavy period

Playing my pussy’s suppository penny whistle

Toast with sugar and drinking vinegar

We simmer a strawberry shrub

Feel for the horn at the base of the neck

Grown from this grotesque Internet

Our future will be happy for now

Love that dissipates into a gradient of narcissism

Would you beg for your life? I don’t run

to catch the bus, but cure the sweating sickness

with a cold shock response

Searching for a salt cave to slip into

Felt-hat Russians seated in a wood stove sauna

A broom of fragrant birch branches

Whipping our bodies омар red


A man is quacking at a swan

as steel drums play somewhere behind.

James says get the tears out

before the meeting. Good advice.

I dreamt I was drinking a glass

of cider and ice with a straw.

My heart is broken, I wrote

on Instagram after my mother died.

In the ravine, I felt a moment

of connection with the trees.

I moved a turtle off the trail,

its limbs moving in its heavy shell

as it hissed, contorting its head

back. It wanted to bite me.

That would have been alright.

I blinked and flashes

filled the forest, sparks emitted

from the end of a magician’s wand.

Things vanish quickly,

the bird inside the tree trunk,

the last text message

my mother ever sent.

In the Vale of Cashmere,

I sat surrounded by fireflies,

listening to a harpist playing

over the cacophony

and on the walk home

came across a peacock,

a rabbit, a family of raccoons,

and my friend Irene.

Another lightning bolt—there

now I’m gone.


In the Uber to your parents’ house

I roll my eyes at myself

Are there people in your life

who remind you of your worst self?

You like the angle of my lenses

like I like doughnuts and rebar

I lick the salt under your nails

We can’t have sweetness all the time

Ugo Rondinone’s three neon boulders

precarious in the teardrop drive

That oil painting in the foyer—

We suspect it’s haunted

The previous owners absconded

With the doorknobs and sconces

We burn the cursed Marseilles deck

and swallow pomegranate seeds

Two creatures buzzing

with tenderness and brutality

Let’s not speak of Ronnie’s

We inspect each other’s teeth

Each of our midnights in the bathtub

Always say yes, never say when

In the morning we take the wrong bus,

racing when it comes again

Cassidy McFadzean studied poetry at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and fiction at Brooklyn College. She is the author of two books of poetry: Drolleries (McClelland & Stewart 2019) and Hacker Packer (M&S 2015). Recent poems have appeared in annulet, Denver Quarterly, and Tupelo Quarterly.