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Instructions for Killing Girls

By Valerie San Filippo


Find the space between

the reaching for a wildflower

and the wide-eye watch of a landing bee.

Grab it tight now,

do not let it slip.

She’ll try to wriggle free

with a basket of cinnamon sweets.

She’ll smile and offer it to you,

then run off with her red cloak

and her wonder all intact.

Bare your teeth,

gnash down,

gnaw on,

“Grandma, what big teeth you have-“

Pull apart,

Rip apart with

“If you hadn’t been wearing red.”


you’ll find that just a few small bites

will kill the girl

straight out of her at once.



Valerie San Filippo is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton. Her poetry has appeared in Noble/Gas Qtrly and Typehouse Magazine. In her spare time, she enjoys tarot card readings and complaining to her congressman.

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