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Fantasy of the Author as a Small Girl by Nora Hikari

In a small voice, she says: perhaps, if

the things I want are small enough,

and smooth enough, they will be forgotten

and not taken from me.

Small, like a small house. In this house

there is a small room. Inside the small room

there is a small dollhouse. Inside the dollhouse

is a small girl with no dolls. The girl who is a doll

has never heard of what a doll is. Instead

the small girl in the small dollhouse

has a small collection of small stones.

She keeps the stones in a tin for mints,

and they clatter around like hopes

in the midst of other coins,

each of the stones a name she hopes to keep.

Girl, like the kind of thing a girl tries to be.

Girl twice, even: first, to char the wood,

second, to burn the charcoal. Girl, which builds

up inside of her small chest until it misfortunes

into a spark from the world. Then girl all at once,

as it consumes her from head to toe in heat and mirage.

Girl as a catastrophe, something to befall her.

Girl slowly, as a secret, and then quickly,

a stolen secret, carried away from her to places

she has not begun to imagine.


NORA HIKARI (she/her) is a transgender poet and artist based in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming at ANMLY, Palette Poetry, Diode, Always Crashing, and others. Her chapbook, Girl 2.0, is a Robin Becker Series winner, and is forthcoming at Seven Kitchens Press. She can be found at her website and contacted at


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