IR Online is an international undergraduate literary journal produced by the Literary Editing and Publishing class at Indiana University, Bloomington. Issue 3 was planned and compiled by Emily Corwin’s class in Spring, 2018.
The ruined illusion of a body held together by threads: dark grey T-shirts would catch on black metal surface bars. Forced removal, a night spent on prescription Xanax, twin scars sit just on top of well-defined pectorals. Edges sharp as sullen swords, a two-winged collarbone flows into an unremarkable neck (neither elegant nor plain). Then, an unassuming jawline, overly full lips—I say feminine, he will insist shapely. A rounded nose, snub, the septum piercing would catch on my nostril and hold our faces close. Eyes, disappointing in color and shape. Hair kept long to shelter soft cheeks. The portrait of a boy lost in transition.
Katarina Merlini is a poet, writer, and alleged human being who studies English and Psychology at the University of Michigan. When she’s not dressing her dog up in thrifted sweaters or tending to her windowsill cactus collection, she enjoys working as a mentor for local LGBTQ+ and at-risk youth.