Dread-Sorrow and the Origami Girl

Gretchen Tessmer

Dread-Sorrow and the Origami Girl

dread-sorrow hides beneath the bed, blinking
with wide, feline eyes, the black of midnight crushed
like pomegranates in a bowl of blood,
the silence of twilight lengthens like saltwater taffy
to the point of sticky, unruly threads, balled up
and thrown into a wastepaper basket, like trash
or letters tear-stained, tragic, twisted.
he says, “we’ll see each other again” as if it is certain
but “nothing’s certain, nothing’s certain…”

she whispers at the foot of her bed
kneeling on tangled sheets, searching for corners,
two sides and a single edge, to make sense of the fold,
to press down and keep flat, the dark terrors
and black spots, all manner of sickness
to be folded away by industrious hands,
frenzied, her thoughts suppressed, feelings ignored
when dread-sorrow peeks out, too curious, too brazen.
he’s pulled into the folds by the scruff of his neck.


Gretchen Tessmer is a writer/attorney based in the U.S./Canadian borderlands of Northern New York. She writes both poetry and short fiction. Her work has appeared in Nature, Daily Science Fiction and Strange Horizons, among other venues.

Editor’s Notes: Images of the horror cat (Pixabay) and of the Origami cat (Aníbal Voyer on Flickr) are combined.

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