Dion O’Reilly


It’s weird to be a member of an invasive species,
accumulating sky miles and slurping Starbucks.
Weird to be within my skin, yet part
of a horde, colony, swarm in search
of sugar, creating commerce as it goes.
My activewear unspools its filaments,
fills the mouths of salmon, remains
in their guts like undigested worms.
I dream of generations pouring out
of my womb—shining insects,
their hungry mandibles eating
from a trough filled with strange corn.
Now, the night is bereft of music
I’ve almost forgotten—
hosts of frogs belching love,
slip of salamander
into the cold grip of stream.
The color of the sky today
like something scraped from
the walls of a collapsed hive—
golden elixir acquired
with the last coin sewn into my coat.



Dion O’Reilly has spent  much of her life on a farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. She has worked as a waitress, barista, baker, theater manager, graphic designer, and public school teacher.  Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in New Ohio Review, Sugar House Review, Rattle, The Sun, Massachusetts Review, New Letters, Bellingham Review, Atlanta Review, Catamaran, and a variety of other literary journals and anthologies, including an upcoming Lambda Literary Anthology. Her work has been nominated for Pushcarts, the Intro Journals Project, and was sent to the judges for The Folio Literary Journal Poetry Contest and the Peseroff Prize.


One thought on “Dion O’Reilly

  1. Wow, stark images in this overcrowded humanity scenario. I feel the desperation, yet feel the hope that, at least, I have “a last coin sewn into my coat pocket,” and assuredly, I still have a coat. Well-written poem.

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