bog bodies

CW: Body horror, death, violence


we rise from the bog, skin wet and squelching.
glistening in the thick, damp sunlight. the word

around town is that we were lucky to escape.
our hands have dried to crisps, brown

and curling like dead ferns, and we smell like rotting
things. our bodies soft stacks of gassed rabbits, eyes

brown apples. when a rescue party is sent out across
the marsh for those who didn't escape, we join it.

perhaps because we are kind, but almost certainly
because we are sick in a way no one else understands.


THERE ARE NO SURVIVORS. words of bone,
spat out of a bitter, gummy dark. grass yields

beneath our bruised knees. it is all too easy to stay
here. our skin turns to mould.

One fat bog.
19 dead. / 19 nights of survivor's guilt.
19 weeks—
19 months—
19 years.

we pull the bodies from the bog. some are leather. boneless.
liquid men and women. pickled, preserved— drowned

in a womb of vinegar, birthed in a clamour of screaming
and tight-knit prayers. God's name spooling from pink

lips; eyes worn red. the worst are those who were drowned

when the weather was warm, when the air clung and the
wasps hovered before the apples of our eyes:

skin falls tender from the bone.
even the insects don't want them.


About the Author

ZARA MUNRO is a poet and storyteller, currently studying English Literature and History of Art at the University of Edinburgh. She is currently working on her very first poetry collection.

Zara is Director of Social Media and Director of Internal Affairs at Monstering, a magazine for disabled women and nonbinary people. She is also the Social Media Manager for Half Mystic, a literary journal about music, and half of ZRIE, a recently-founded literary arts collective.

She was a recipient of the Scottish Book Trust's Young Writers Award—a national award for young people aged 13-17—in 2013 at the age of 15. More recently, she has been published in The Dinner Table Review, The Rising Phoenix Press, and on Monstering's blog.

On Twitter, Zara can be found at @TheMostSalt.