/k tedesco

Pre-Code Spiritualism


I cannot work-a-bone  until I’ve showered

this ghost-froth   from my membrane.

I am all leeched with auras –  cast-off

& veil-clung as bubbles.

Tell it to me straight & do not censor

my fortune. Whisper from your deathbox –

This poem is the winner of this issue’s Red Lobster Prize.

switch my body red with electric & sift

through the star-ash threading me

gold-blooded. Munchausen swallows

me up with all these rabbits: everywhere

rabbits & I bear the migraine

of their demonic possession.

I do knuckle-magic under the table.    You swore

you’d return with a grimoire of matinees for my quick-

drying eyeballs. I want to have that vision

we talked about. I’m sitting

in this empty

waiting for you & your thought dust to come party-

streaming from my blouse-sleeves & collar –

I promise I won’t be afraid this time; I know how

to convince myself   that the negative

of your shape is, through certain slats, a light

I can remember.




I am obsessed with no ghost & no body

rests in my body – sit hunchbacked

across the table & remind

your shoulders to hyperventilate

a greasy dream – my netherworld muffs

our wrists in approval;

my spirit-lipstick claps the

tourniquet of thawed fingers, ringed

ruby & tiger jaw & moonstone & silver,

ringed at the neck with half-moons

rusting white nighties. I salivate

for a body emerging

furred with the smoke

of carnage. I coax

a certain ambergris to inhabit

my soul-box & airways – to speak

the language of saints, protected.

My clairvoyance has offed itself

in a bed of cotton. The room

is coughing up rose gold, whetting

each sheet to a shroud of soured

lilies, still milking. You name the form

mother; I do not believe you.


Kailey Tedesco is the author of She Used to be on a Milk Carton (April Gloaming Publishing) and These Ghosts of Mine, Siamese (Dancing Girl Press). She is the editor-in-chief of Rag Queen Periodical and a staff writer for Luna Luna Magazine. Her work has been featured in Phoebe Journal, Sugar House Review, American Chordata, and more. For further information, please visit kaileytedesco.com.