Gregor Samsa Redux

Alrisha Shea

I do not recognize the body

watching me. I pull up


my boxers and pretend I could

wear high-waisted pants, as if

the telltale bulge wasn't there.


What am I if not a clay doll

in the oven? A mockery

of a man. 


I can only glare back through

the windowpane and

pretend my eye contact


still has worth. When I step

outside, the first moment

is a migraine. My eyes maladjusted


to the thin atmosphere. Meteorologists

call this light pollution because they do

not understand how a skyline could


be dysphoric. The stars, stripped

away by runny ochre paint, will

turn into dust specks &


we will squint harder

towards the sky. &


the ceramic mannequins

will rejoice at their lack

of eyes. & I will find another

inanimacy to be jealous of.

One day I will learn how to be.

But not soon.

Alrisha Shea is a 17 year old student going into Bioinformatics in undergrad. They can be observed in their natural habitat @alrisha_s on Twitter. Their work is published or forthcoming in Outlook Springs, Crab Fat Magazine, Dirty Paws Poetry, and others. Their chapbook, "Cicada Girl / Locust Boy" is forthcoming from corrupt press.