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It Lingers
by Amelia Glebocki

In the spaces between these lines —

it’s the breath I draw in
but do not give back
with the words I say out loud.

I know Lady Lazarus by heart, and recite it at night
like a children’s bedtime prayer, its meaning
lost somewhere inside me.

But I am not Plath—

Dying is an art
I’ve not yet mastered.

I was the girl
all the children’s bedtime prayers
were written for,

the girl
who would answer
to the pebbles at her window,

slip away in the night.

But I always returned
before dawn.

It was lust—

a want
strong enough
to come back to, but not

strong enough
to keep.

Once, I tried
to whisper a quiet “I do” into its ear.
But it wouldn’t take me.

All those times before, I’d slipped
through its cold, bony fingers

And this time

it slipped
through mine.


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