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Page 83

SHAY ALEXI

Untired

HONORABLE MENTION i am young but old enough to understand incessance like you know iceberg lettuce or gravity or men another deli sandwich insists on a tasteless leaf & wow what a privilege to be both empty & everywhere once i held an unrequited man by the hand called him relentless & he said thank you once i was told some food has negative calories & wow another bland body demands my consumption only to eat me back i try & talk myself out of my own history i open my mouth & all the old boys fall out the audience i imagine yawns him again him again him again

as i do him

a waiter smiles my date scoffs as i ask about a salad’s composition i have stopped taking at face value what’s supposed to be good for me i am old but young enough i am young but old enough that

to understand incessance i no longer aim to be ceaseless

it is my birthday again & my ears ring still i ache to heimlich my name from once-familiar mouths

lineage is just the charting of all the things i come from like my mother or the midwest or the ringing once i called a head of lettuce a meal & wow to eat & to swallow are not the same thing 82| PHOEBE 48.2

Profile for phoebe

48.2  

Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and art selected for our 2019 contest issue.

48.2  

Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and art selected for our 2019 contest issue.

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