Erin Jin Mei O'Malley is the Co-Founder of Sooth Swarm Journal. She lives in Germany and can be found on the internet at




When Trevor shit on the carpet for the third time

last week, my mother cursed

the dog, not the disease.

I lathered the blood-brown stains

into abandonment, and he cried and hid

under my bed as if he were ashamed

of the windows’ merciless glare.


How could she

not see that Trevor would only sit, stay, come

for as long as his hind legs would bear

his slow forgetting. He reminds me of every place

I’ve ever left, how each year believes less

and less in memory.  






I know the silhouette of a door just before it flies

open. The birth of beak-screech and the howl

of knuckled hinges. Hatchlings crawling into the kitchen

faster than the strike of a fly swatter.


I’ve been homesick since the coda of rain

and rooftop, have learned how to flinch from

my mother. Which volume of shouting peels

wallpaper or startles the ceiling. Given the choice

between fight or flight, I always want the bluest

bruise. Girl who lives in the white jaw of a dog

house and listens without barking.

Wingspan: the softest measure of panic.

But I have windows instead of wings

the way a hornet’s nest is still a home.

Super 8, Evan Goldstein