Photography © Jennifer Matthews


Names that Haunt my Tongue

My mind has been dwelling
in the rotted hole
of a memory: the moments
before my rape.
With M’s hand gripping
my thigh, his nails digging
into flesh,
I said, I’m dating someone, please.
He laughed a who
and my tongue deflated; my mouth
stitched shut before his hand found
my throat, before his
w  h  i  s  p  e  r  e  d
threats tickled my ear.

I wanted to say Candace,
but my body seemed to only
have value
when possessed by a man.


S. Marie Watkins (they/she) is a multimedia artist and writer who resides around Lake Tahoe, California. They find comfort either within the rows of a library or along a hiking trail in the Tahoe National Forest. Their writing tends to revolve within environmental, LGBTQ+, memoir, horror, and experimental genres. They’ve been featured in lit magazines and anthologies such as Oakland Arts Review, Poet’s Choice, Please See Me Lit Mag, and Plants & People: An Anthology of Environmental Artists.

Poet/Photographer Jennifer Matthews’ poetry has been published in Nepal by Pen Himalaya and locally by the Wilderness Retreat Writers Organization, Midway Journal, The Somerville Times, Ibbetson Street Press and Boston Girl Guide. Jennifer was nominated for a poetry award by the Cambridge Arts Council for her book of Poetry Fairy Tales and Misdemeanors. Her songs have been released nationally and internationally and her photography has been used as covers for a number of Ibbetson Street Press poetry books and has been exhibited at The Middle East Restaurant, 1369 Coffeehouses, Sound Bites Restaurant in Somerville and McLean Hospital.