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Chelsea Margaret Bodnar


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When you wrote the love letter, you never sent it, duh.               Get real. It’s not a thing that people
do. The bonnet of your madness     tethered tight. Hey, are you awake?                 I’ve got something to tell you.                   ...Nevermind.             And what could be important     when you say you have no life?     You should have been born         different, should’ve been
more flat         of affect, platinum of tongue. Had some ambition outside of this vague desire         to hack to pieces         everything you hold to heart         and acid bath     the bones.     Even now,
            these notes
still cropping up in hiding places     in your childhood bedroom, scraps of paper slid under         the window frame, folded down to
whispers.                                      This throb that ties your throat
                                                       like rabbit trap.

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Your mom gives you a couple Xanax in
a plastic bag
                    and  lectures  you  about  the  pros
          of moving back to her house,   your childhood bedroom and its pretty relics   on       display.       You’d   rather   push   your   luck
          dissolve in space             your molecules expanding,     the
bone  and  sinew  fleeing from your     skin    like  being  yours  was
          drowning.         The ugly orbit of your little life         is
pulling tighter, its vague ellipsis dipping toward the sun.     After the breakup,     when you felt your borders disappearing,       you
counted up the things you loved and stacked them     to the ceiling.
          A pantheon of glitter, and all its noisy shimmer adding up to so much less than nothing.

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You’re pretty sure           your hands are prematurely aging,   the skin flaking at the knuckles, the dry, chewed cuticles whitening like quicklime.             Idle always,                 you sit back & read an article about             the world’s best-preserved mummies
          ranking them     by   some   unclear   quality.   Saint Bernadette’s   not playing fair,       a smooth & flawless wax cast covers up her face     and   hands.     The   girl   that   should   be underneath       was chopped to bits     and sold as relics
years ago.

And here you are:       your body is intact     but you’re still using inadequate words,                     words that act as warning signs, stay
              far         away from your           mouth, words that can only be       typed or           gracelessly alluded to.   How embarrassing!
                          Snow White and Saint Bernadette,                   the
whole                 long                 black                 assembly                 line
of colorless hands           clasped         above slow-beating, incorrupt
          hearts.                   And the wicked queen’s old beauty danced to ashes           in her shoes of fire.

The lifestyles of half-dead                     princesses, funhouse mirrors
              of white limbs               and               red-painted               lips,
a double exposure,               a         triple             exposure,     a     line like soldiers                 dolls in boxes             heartthrobs         with interchangeable         parts.   Little  pre-war  dead  girl  under  Paris,
            mouth         opening       and       closing       in       accordance with the pressure.         Too young to have much fun, her ice-blue eyes         forever               and deflated.

                          That one is almost definitely your favorite.

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