the heart and other four-legged beasts

by Morgan Roth

the night colored with the pale bruise of youth
around us you with some kind of child authority
held a frog in your hands and told me to
hold mine out too.

it fit so gently in our palms where we
curled out fingers over it like a rib.

the jumble of its organs bleated against the
purple air and our tacky palms we watched it
blink in a deadly calm its mouth open slightly
against the fatty press of your pinky before it

lept from between us, its legs a graceful arc
and as it disappeared i felt that animal beneath my ribs

like a great wet shape

Morgan Roth is a current English Literature MA student at Northern Kentucky University, where they also earned a BA in Literature and a BS in Sociology. They live in work in Kentucky in the liminal spaces carved by Cincinnati’s fingers with their two cats in a duplex, where their neighbor spends every weeknight hollering right on the other side of the shared kitchen wall.


Photography by: Aurora K