You see me bare
my throat
but miss the teeth.

I am all red-breasted,

To show uncertainty
as shield, as dare—
no truth.

My downcast eyes—
humble before you—
hide the violence.

You will never see me going
or coming.
You will never see me at all.


She Lies in the Depths of My Love

I stopped believing in mermaids
the day I found her beached.

Dolphins keened outside my window,
but I kept her safe in my bathtub.

The scales of her tail fins shifted light
like the excuses I told my boyfriend.

I stopped answering his calls—
anyone’s calls—quit my job, and stayed in.

I just wanted to stroke gleaming scales and entangle
my hands in the net of her hair.

The slits in the side of her neck were other mouths
for me to kiss. I drank in her gasps.

I rolled the salt crystals from her eyes
with tender fingers.

I had to remove the razor our fourth night together,
for fear I’d lose her in a red smile.

She was beauty—mother of pearl, coral,
emeralds, and gold cage.

Her breasts were twin moons rising
at the water’s surface.

My seas foamed at the rocking of her hips;
I ground a world for her to wreck upon.


Call Me Back

with cinnamon on your tongue,
smear of blood on your forehead,
and a crushed moth in your left palm.

Light a candle for the thousand nights
I lost to self-induced sorrow.
Sigh my name in the pregnant air

and let it fall, cradled only by the law
of gravity and good intentions.
I was born wingless but dust filled.

Breathe a regret for what remained unsaid,
was lost behind polite smile, flittered in the belly.
Let me fly just once.


LeAnne Hunt (she/her) grew up in the Midwest and now lives in Orange County, California. She was once called a devil worshipper for playing Dungeons & Dragons by a Sunday school teacher. She is a regular at the Two Idiots Peddling Poetry reading at the Ugly Mug in Orange. She has poems published in Cultural WeeklySpillwayHoney & Lime,and Lullaby of Teeth: An Anthology of Southern California Poets. She publishes a blog of writing prompts and apologies at leannehunt.com.