Cover Photo: An image of a type writer and hands typing as hot pink flames are ablaze in the background
Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult

When There Is No Right Way to Heal

The details of those poems may be his first inkling that I know what he did.


I could write here

Negotiations. Negotiations

I May Destroy YouThe dialogue! Michaela Coel’s face; her beautiful face. Her expressions! The way she portrays friendships and drug use, and oh! When Biagio picks up the thing. Wait! I can’t tell you about that. You just have to watch it.

becauseI May Destroy You

NegotiationsI May Destroy You

Just one episode

NegotiationsI May Destroy You

told. told




But this still isn’t the right way

I May Destroy You


The Economist,

Destiny O. Birdsong is a Louisiana-born poet, fiction writer, and essayist whose work has either appeared or is forthcoming in Poets & Writers, The Paris Review  Daily, Boston Review,  African American Review, and elsewhere. Her debut poetry collection, Negotiations, was published by Tin House Books in October 2020, and was longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection. Her debut novel, Nobody's Magic, is forthcoming from Grand Central in February 2022. She earned both her MFA and PhD from Vanderbilt University.