Femme Fatale

May Hathaway

— inspired by 秦般弱 of 琅琊榜 

Listen to me. I still don't miss beating hearts
or porcelain teacups, boy bodies breathing heavily

two cells over. I matriarch, hands practiced but soft
at the edges. This is the end, then: no more satin dresses

or notes passed in parchment, no more chests
splayed for sisters' survival. I still don't miss dainty

fingernails striped in gold and their shallow
scratches. There are girls waiting for bloodshed

in the countryside, girls that play patience
in fields of wheat, biding their time. I always liked

a man who could save me. I always liked killing men
and waiting for the blood to drain. Winter soon

and the snow still bites. A girl in a field will find
parchment soon, even as our bodies decay.


May Hathaway is a writer from New York City. Her work is published or forthcoming in Hobart After DarkPANK, and Vagabond City Lit and has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and the National YoungArts Foundation. An alumna of the Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program and the Iowa Young Writers' Studio, she will attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.

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