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Lake Vargas

Constant awakenings when I read

the papers — bottles crossing the room

& slicing fingertips, unconscious bodies

knotted beneath sheets, frogs tossed

into pots to bob in boiling water. How long

will I live like this & live like this & die

like this. I will never flinch in the shadow

of a raised hand, but raised voices

in the street will always crash through me

like a tree dressed in telephone wire.

I won’t tell anything but shaking hands

and held breath when men on television

swing their arms like antlers crashing

through a windshield. A sickness knows

a glass is a weapon, a doorframe is a haven,

letting the fist fall is a solution. I already know

the story if they chalk my silhouette

across the floorboards of my father’s house.

They’d say they never knew. They never saw

the signs. They never, ever, could’ve guessed it.

Lake Vargas primarily writes poetry and creative non-fiction. Her work has been published by Periwinkle Literary Magazine, Tealight Press, Butcher Papers, and others. She is a poetry reader at Paracosm Literary Journal, and she tweets at @lakewrites. More of her work can be found on her Tumblr, @stonemattress.

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