Purge by Luke Wortley (Ships September)



The loss is an addiction, one that I can carry with me on the flight to the ghost realm where I go when I purge. In the ghost realm, there are a million million bits of stardust encrusting my jawbone, redefining the backs of my front teeth worn away from the bile. There are women and men who love my body and don’t comment on it as though it were wasting away; instead, they mention the beauty of indentation, the luminous swirl of light and shadow on my face as I stand up. There are birds who land on my shoulder, and I feel their little talons dig into my flesh, dig down through the tissues I’ve worked so hard to wear thin. There are endless fountains with reckoning on the horizon, with two IV saline solutions waiting in a hospital bed when the time is right, with the last ounces hanging in globs of spittle as I step onto the scale and proceed to lose my match when I can’t breathe during the third period and give up under the weight of that other boy who sidewinded himself just a little bit better, who was able to conserve. In this realm, I drift instead of run. There, my viscera can relax. There, there are ways to cope. 

Out of stock



A collection of poetry by Luke Wortley


Editor: Christopher McCurry

Cover Design: Ron Davis

Cover Artist: Ron Davis


ISBN: 978-1-948775-19-9

Softcover, matte

5.5″ x 8.5″


Luke Wortley is a writer living in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has a BA in Spanish from Wright State University and an MFA from Butler University, where he was the former fiction editor of Booth: A Journal. After a few years teaching, he began working for a population health non-profit as a grant writer and a program coordinator for community outreach among under-served populations. His fiction and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in monkeybicycle, Hobart, Best Microfictions, Pithead Chapel, The Florida Review, Cincinnati Review, and elsewhere. You can follow him on Twitter (@LukeWortley) or visit https://www.lukewortley.com/


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