‘Queer Heartbreak Hotline’, ‘Vestigial’, ‘Empties’ by Nikki Donadio


Queer Heartbreak Hotline

-your call is important to us-

My purple love.
knuckle resting on lips, the
liminal space of just-before coming

-someone will be with you in one moment-

Loneliness is a game of closed eyes,
or blindfolds, or thumbprints
smeared across lenses

-please hold-

Yes, please. Please hold
me, feel the way my chin
fits in the nook of your shoulder

-all of our operators are busy-

make some coffee. Hand me the
first ready cup, hot. I hang on,
blister, shake.

You’re already
no longer there.



Cut me out. A hollow sinus,
a swollen tonsil,

wisdom teeth jamming
up your jaw.

Cut me out. An appendix
inflamed, ready to burst,

a grasping reflex that
can’t keep hold.

I ain’t the one.
Once tight and inside

I’ve grown vestigial

cut out of your evolution.


From Spoon’s “I ain’t the one,” found on the album Hot Thoughts (2017).



picked up on our
last trek out

after the leaves lay tired,
a summer leaning over us.

empties, backs flattened to the
earth, tops and bottoms

folded in, like reaching to
do a sit-up, sun-bled colours

changed blue to bloo to bl-
back to silver.

tabs missing, undersides
quilted with dirt

dirt that’ll catch under
my nails, the earth

we fucked on, the beer I
licked from your palms.


NIKKI DONADIO is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers and holds degrees in English and Adult Education. She currently lives in Newmarket, Ontario and is a Master of Arts student at the University of Gloucestershire. Her short fiction has been featured in Plenitude and Gertrude; her poetry in Borealis, Her Heart Poetry, Typishly and Soliloques Anthology. You can follow her on Twitter at @nikki_donadio.

Copyright © 2018 by Nikki Donadio. All rights reserved.

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