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2015

Mango Fruit Roll-Ups

QU Montage

By Lauren Manna

I have calloused fingers:
From prying open Venus on a bad night
From wiping the white off hot coffeepots 
        on a coldish summer morning 
        when my eyes are pressing tired.
My teeth are not quite perfect and not quite ruined 
        because I can’t finish what I start.

I am afraid I am a mass of contradictions, and, 
        like anyone sane, becoming my father.
I race the clock to (not) get enough calories 
        by exactly midnight, and once 
        I burst into tears in a Wakefield pizza shop.
I am only competitive when you say
        you are the most tired person in the room.

But I love 
        getting goosebumps over the human condition,
         (well-earned paper cuts)
And when light hits; when it 
        diffuses dark orange-red to crisp paper shadows; 
And shutting my laptop when 
        my contacts have been in for three days.

I am looking for a word 
        a tad more solid than agnosticism.
A feeling that will sit 
        heavier and longer in my chest 
        than bloating or steel (I am missing you)—
And I am waiting 
        to feel the light come back into my eyes.