The Devil’s Pockets by Freesia McKee

The devil carries a wristwatch with a broken strap. When you ask her for the time, she pretends the battery is also dead. And that’s how you never leave her room, small and hot. There’s no comfortable place to sleep. When she comes home each day after completing The Devil’s Work, she lies and says that she doesn’t much like how you’re stuck there. After weeks of lying awake, wondering (there’s not much else to do), you ask what’s sewn in her pockets. She tells you: a canister of loose razor blades clicking against cinnamon candies. Her tool belt holds a box of nails, a ball-peen hammer, a long and tapered file. She always carries a file. And her tape measure lists an uneven stretch of names. Measure twice, cut once. Retractable. The devil’s in the details.


Freesia McKee is author of the chapbook How Distant the City (Headmistress Press, 2018). Her words have appeared in Flyway, Bone Bouquet, So to Speak, Tinderbox, Virga, Painted Bride Quarterly, CALYX, and elsewhere. She blogs at

Image by Dale Wisely