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7-Up as a Cure for Irony

I pour a glass of 7-Up before a date with Jamie. Every time. I don’t eat dinner. I can’t. I tell my parents I’m not hungry. I carry the 7-Up into my bedroom, closing the door. 7-Up is honeysuckle summers, the slant of sun at dusk on hydrangeas, the sweetness …

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Worn

This distressed pair of cut-off shorts once belonged to my best friend’s high- school boyfriend. My favorite tank top? A t-shirt, sleeves sliced away, traded with a stranger one summer, dark of the dive bar hiding whatever we might want hidden. All of our clothes are falling apart. Did you …

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Lookout

He took a week to gather his things and move into my body. Not what we’d packed in his coffin. Pickaxe, Maine gold, tourmaline, his dog’s ashes. Only what would not press for space. Breath, curses, dreams. I couldn’t explain. I tried, said I was inhabiting my body as a …

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Pietà I: afterbirth

once the gushing stopped I got a good look at him— at the boy I mean—he crowned this morning that bloodless god took blood from me & lord he fumbled blind like a puppy for my milky-eyed nipple teeth ached & we stank in the filth of us our new …

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Brown-Eyed Recluse

Nine months after Isabelle’s husband left, Isabelle lay on her rumpled bedspread, feeling a rattling in her stomach, like a marble inside her. She drew a hand across her belly protectively and tried to think of what might satisfy the feeling; some toast and jam to start, perhaps. She counted …

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I Hold God at Morning in a Prayer

Dear God, see me walking with my darkness. See me at this corner with rotten pears in my mouth. I have spoken so much about the leaking memories in my bones. I have spoken so much about my worries that I wonder if anyone listens. The tears I know are …

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Different Yellows, Whole and Broken

I recently transcribed one of my husband Séan’s bedtime stories onto a gold nightdress of mine in gold ink. In the daylight, the words shine above the matte gold fabric, but at night the ink disappears, and I fear his story is lost. I search for it, prospecting letters hidden …

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The Candy Bowl

The room whispered to Simon in its language of creaks and fluttering appliances. The small noises seemed to work in uneven patterns like an overheard conversation. It amused him to give substance to these inanimate dialogues and reminded him of the two little girls from the apartment down the hall …

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Quiet Corner

1. Once a camel now a dog, my bladder marks my way to the toilet. Parkinson’s paralyzes my friend’s legs and larynx. The film of Alzheimer’s clouds a colleague who, at parties, recited Beowulf. I read about the poet who puts his face between a woman’s thighs, not knowing she’s …

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Losing Something So Small

cw: pregnancy loss The sky was bright blue that day. There was the kind of lush wind that made you believe you could happily delete all your social media accounts and easily, miraculously, open a goat farm and make a living selling cheese. I rested my head against the window …

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