Issue #12

Hostel World

Sophie Furlong Tighe

Hatters Manchester, 2019 I am woken —not for the first time in my life—

by breathing and grabbing. I have booked the only female dorm in this hostel

and now it feels like last time. Like why I booked the female dorm. The girl

cups her hand on my cheek and tries to take a chunk out. She is wailing.. The

woman above me who left her rosary beads on our sink pulls her from my bed

get out devil girl, get out from this room. She hurries her from my bed and

reaches for her holy water.


176 Clontarf, 2015 When I am packing for Prague my uncle comes into my

room and asks me if I’d ever seen Hostel II. You know the one, banned in

Germany, where the girls travel to Rome and wake up naked hanging above a

bath. They don’t have baths in the hostels I’m going to. And then the intruder

uses a scythe to collect her blood and I think he rapes her I’m not sure how it

ends. Do you know it, I think so, he laughs.


Hatters Manchester, 2019 I am still rocking when the Australian woman

who thinks she is helping comes back from checking on her. Emma, Emma,

she had a seizure, as if she fucking knows her. Should I get her medication? It’s

in her bag. Can someone else do something, please. When the paramedics come

I am the only one not standing.


Hostel Ananas Prague, 2015 I don’t know if I can call this man an intruder,

I invited him in. He didn’t try for a chunk of me until he knew I couldn’t grab

or yell, knew I had no rosary beads. He was gone when I woke up, leaving a

knot of my hair in the base of the sink.


Sheila’s Cork, 2019 I wake up on a bottom bunk at four in the morning and

the door has been left open. It stretches against the rest of the darkness. Yellow

light pours in, only hitting my bunk. I stand up to close the door and travel

through it instead, looking for another world.


Kinlay Cork, 2018 But I can not say the word hostel without telling you

about the other boy, the boy who took me to an empty six-bed in Cork. Who

touched my face, wouldn’t pull my hair, paused when I winced. Sometimes I

think I should stop thanking men for the bare minimum, to stop coming for

the words, can I? But in that big room with those small beds, with so much of

him inside so little of me, I reach for the sky to find only the metal rails under

the top bunk, made for my fingers to hook around.


Sophie Furlong Tighe is a Drama and Theatre Studies student at Trinity College Dublin. She was once a slam poet, a twice winner of Slam Sunday, and a finalist in the Dublin Grand Slam. Now she writes things on pages, and has been published in Not Where I Belong and Dodging The Rain, with work forthcoming in Vagabond City Lit. You can find her at


Kate O'Donnell

Did mothers always try to press on their daughters the itineraries of which they

themselves had dreamed? -The Year Of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion

I almost drop the book,

Pages fly shut through my shaking hands.

Across the table my mother stares

Out the train window. I match

Her gaze and my mind reels,

Wildflowers and hills fleeing far

Too quick to focus, my eyes scatter,

My soul sinks back through the cushioned seat

Up into the scattered air. I fix on a hawk,

Unmoving on the highest branch, ready to snap

Its beak, shred tomorrow with a single talon.

I will see him again when the train stops, watch

Ticks, lights flash and my head snaps

Shut. I misplaced my agenda but my mother

Will gladly read me hers. I feel the press

Of plans but I will not hear her words.

She asks where I am headed and the movement

Of my feet will be the only answer.

Kate O’Donnell is completing her studies in Poetry and Sociology at Northwestern

University. While born and raised in Chicago, she has always felt most at home in the

mountains or at sea. She can be found on Twitter @kate1od.

Body Psalm

Audrey Gidman

—& think of wilderness how it has suffered.

Bone flower-

pushing through skin; a spine

of mountains.

Eyes as lilies in the valley watching

women walk

like trees.

Eyes looking

for god

in other eyes. Holding out their cups


the houses

of the old tongue. Not ruined temples, just

these clay hands. A mortar

& pestle. Moss. Milk-


Audrey Gidman is the 2018 recipient of the Elyse Wolf Prize and author of the chapbook, body psalms, forthcoming from Slate Roof Press. Her work can be found in Q/A Poetry, mutiny! magazine, Confrontation, Slippery Elm, The Rush, and elsewhere. She received her BFA from the University of Maine Farmington. Instagram: @audrexe