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Elizabeth Evenson-Dencklau

3s, 5s and 7s

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There was blood on the
bus stop windows today
like someone pressed
rare steak against the glass

and I should leave but
I’m caught between
two chain smokers
in a race to see who
will reach the filter first.

It’s then I recall when
Snow White’s mother
pricked her finger, the
blood spilled in threes.

(interior designers always
say to use odd numbers,
it’s aesthetically pleasing)

But this isn’t a fairytale,
& the blood is smeared
like two track marks
on a used Kotex

Which reminds me of
the time my ex came
stumbling from the
bathroom yelling
“who left this nasty
tampon here?!”

but when I said “it isn’t mine”
he grew quiet.


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“Cinderella was a whore”
you scream
as we force you into the barrel,
nails carving your flesh.

“I would do it again”
you laugh
while limping away
in blood soaked shoes.

“She did it for the money”
you choke
lungs gasping on ashes,
face covered in pitch.

“It wasn’t my hand that held the knife”
you cry out from the oven
but the heat of our silence
blisters your face.

“Why fear what you can’t understand?”
you whisper
tongue swollen from nettles
yet to be spun.

“When will it end?”
you sigh in the dark
eyes blinded by spindles
& splinters of mirrors.

“I loved him”
you mouth
but all that we hear is
a chorus of frogs.

honeymoon’s end

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she asked for a heart in a box, so you cut out your own and carried it to her like a child’s gold star, and because her words dazzled like shards of spun sugar thick and sweet beneath your tongue, you don’t notice the taste of metal and rot ‘til you’re choking on razors and wading through the pile of bones she’s left lying—when one day you come home and the children are gone while your wife smiles at you with lips covered in breadcrumbs.

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