the beginning: telling the monster under my bed, I’m sad & I don’t know why, & then the monster, pulling a kleenex out of his fur & handing it to me as snot dripped into my mouth, down my throat.

the middle: I went to college where I studied words that built houses, ate scones slightly warmed, & investigated disability claims. while in school, I spent a semester studying abroad in a circus tent, handing out raffle tickets to see who would get thrown into the fire next. I graduated with honors & ended up a lion tamer.

now: I miss you & that thursday when you stepped out of the shower. do you remember? there were arrows covering your skin, pointing & pointing & pointing. are you following? you asked. I nodded into a dandelion & sneezed a second moon.

the future: waking up mid-sentence, always thinking the same thing— how you used to peel all the skin off an apple before you ever took your first bite.




Lee Patterson’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Ethel Zine, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Unbroken, among others. His chapbook, I get sad, is forthcoming from Ethel Zine in late 2019.