by Kelli Lage

swallow the yellow breeches of each day / and let their yelps dig into your gums / trapped in a house I later grieve for / hell is the lifetime when you are frozen in anxiety / foaming at the mouth / but it’s just shaken ginger ale / my birthday cake / frosted with wallpaper that has peeled / from our living room walls / my mother uses a sword as a knife / and thinks a well-dressed child / doesn’t mean hallways can rot / she celebrates by lifting a wine glass / letting it slip through her fingers / when I look down shards form into the shape of her bitters lips / but everyone else is too busy looking up at balloons and confetti / I let off a smoke bomb / hoping the demons will sneer / and be driven mad / only left to run before their palms melt / my soul frosts over / the only way to keep stable / in a world of tongues as sharp as ice / tomorrow morning I’m going to cross the river / and I’m not looking back


Kelli Lage is earning her degree in Secondary English Education and works as a substitute teacher. She is a poetry reader for Bracken Magazine. Lage’s work has appeared in The Lumiere Review, Welter Journal, Watershed Review, and elsewhere. Website: www.KelliLage.com.


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