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tired girl howls, act three

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every day my understudy sits up in my bed and walks across the carpet, rehearsing her lines.

she slips into green jeans and walks across the hall looking for something to live for.

some days it takes twenty minutes to stand up, and on those days, my understudy makes up her face. she outlines her eyes in black, pretty girl war paint.

my understudy walks across college campuses and listens to the songs that direct the dances she will do that day.

she’ll smile at professors, because she knows that somewhere deep inside, we truly love this moment, these books and words that we try to read, that my understudy pretends to have studied.

my understudy smiles at my rapist when he sits next to me and rubs my knee, telling me it’s my fault we aren’t happy, that we are so very hipster beautiful together, that they could make movies about the barista poet and the librarian poet, opening a bookstore and cuddling cats in dim bed, kissing. soft. ladybugs and summer parks and backpacking through europe. open windows. that’s who we are.

my understudy nods, says silently, we are open windows to jump from?

my understudy nods when he says that i should be happy that i am alive.

my understudy stays inside my body, while i float away. i climb among the rafters, closer against the sky. my knees covered in cloudy dust. the wood sends slivers down my fingertips, and through my mind, and i climb across the roof and i look towards the sky.

my understudy, she holds me like a balloon. she carries me with her, always.

my understudy holds me down every time i curl up around my migraine mind, when i wish i had more bottles than i have. more alcohol, more pills, more anything. she looks at orion and sees more than his bow and arrows.

she sees personal mythology.

and somedays

the first poem in my capstone chapbook. critiques welcome, as always,
  • Like 4

mouse / she/her.

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Poetry-wise, this is simply beautiful. (I could be critical and go over this word by word, if you like, but I'm not sure if that's something you want.) Subject matter-wise... I struggle for words. You are loved, mouse. 



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