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.

 

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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.