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No one sympathizes
with twenty-somethings
(Not a cloud in your
sky!) as if sexy thighs
imply happiness. As if you
could fuck away all doubt,
laughter ringing through
your ribs

Another year of bird chirps
and deep breaths among
bricks, each one the
insurmountable burnt orange
of autumn. Vestiges of progress
women have made here.
There’s a long way down to fall
off the shoulders of giants, hoping
professionally trimmed grass
will catch you, or you will land
safely on the sincerity
of your effort,
papers flying everywhere


Elliot Riley is a high school librarian by day and stand-up comedian by night. She lives in western Massachusetts. Her work is forthcoming in Bone Parade.

© 2017, Elliot Riley

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