The Milliner by Shannon Austin

A teleporter walks into a bar & walks into a bar & walks into a bar &
stop me if you haven’t heard this one.

A teleporter walks into a bar & a brothel & a beach &
never enters the same place twice.

Tides reflect more than the moon’s arousal:
place & name, their cartography. A needle starts its life

as a sword yet still knows its way to blood. Place & name:
two different landmarks. Where you are & what you could be.

I know her arms from a photograph that tells me
they existed. What she made in felt & flesh, lace &

latitudes. The planes of a face, hers and hers and mine.
Teleportation requires the traveler destroy herself

to be built in a new location. A needle also knows
its way to mercy. Its potential for pain.

A teleporter walks into a name that is and isn’t hers.
The potential to be a holy war or a small victory.

A teleporter walks into in two. A door named
for its intentions. If you’ve been waiting

for the hatmaker: she’s been standing in this
doorway, replacing screws with stitches.


Shannon Austin is a writer from Baltimore, MD, with an MFA in poetry from UNLV. Her work has appeared in Drunk Monkeys, After the PauseAmerican Chordata, and elsewhere.

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