Fall 2019

Alchemy’s Darling

By Hollie Dugas

A heart is a slippery thing
that hangs down from my throat.
Sometimes, I feel it pulsing
its red juice
sour as a thimbleberry
into the dark pods of my ribs
while my body lives on,
shuffling toward god’s drum
like a wind-up figurine.
I am what alchemy refers to
as darling, an improbable thing.
And I live with myself,
as my heart lives with itself, creature
in a cage, chewing on an old clock,
keeping the memories in my blood.
If you want to know me,
peel back my skin,
place your fingers
in the murmuring wound.


Hollie Dugas lives and teaches in New Mexico. Her work has been selected to be included in Barrow Street, Crab Creek Review, Pembroke, Potomac Review, Under the Gum Tree, and CALYX. Hollie has been a finalist twice for the Peseroff Prize at Breakwater Review, Greg Grummer Poetry Prize at Phoebe, Fugue’s Annual Contest, and has received Honorable Mention in Broad River Review.  Additionally, “A Woman’s Confession #5,162” was selected as the winner of Western Humanities Review Mountain West Writers’ Contest (2017). She is currently a member on the editorial board for Off the Coast.

Fall 2019