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I pitied myself for weeks,

thinking you would line up someone else,

like a shooting gallery.

each head another target, each one

another bullseye. you shoot

and the crowd goes wild.

I’ve spat back up my popcorn.


I sold myself for three dollars,

given your low bet of two-fifty.

I snatched up the change,

I sunk down

to the shop, the little corner store we liked

to buy myself ice-cream.

Vanilla, white, pure, making you out

to be some distant memory

in chocolate leather.


I read out your texts, one by one

a marching order of your pretty words

step by step,

beautiful words hiding gunfires

in grey bubbles, each one shorter

shorter than the last.

I hated that.


I’d see you out and about,

in your better clothes,

because you’d slipped out of my rags, I guess.

a fairy godmother hadn’t come for me, but still

I wish it could have been you, with the wand.

with the bibbidi-boppidi-boo.


I don’t have a story like these hypotheticals,

not that I wish I did.

I’m freeing myself out from those palms of his.

I’ll be writing poetics and moving onto other boys,

and he’ll be in streets, in shrouds, underneath clouds

and I’ve got no clue how he’ll handle things.

- Keeley Young

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