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In a cramped nyc park, giving advice to your outgrown babysitter

katie brunero

Gloria, Gloria,

you are not the ice clinging

to the railing of your parent’s trailer,

nor the slugs that writhe to life

between smoky July and bitter-hot June.

You flip over a body

bristling with five tarot swords;

so what? Life is not all peonies in spring. It gets cut

short by the yellow rush of a taxi, falling pianos,

cancer from everything, even cake.

And our hearts have the right

to pound loud if they want.

Let’s live! Get up! Gloria, get up!

Let’s go sneak shots of the chapel’s blessing water—

you can taste the guilt, it tastes good.

It goes down easier than I ever believed.

I remember you were, in fact,

a little stupid that time at your father’s liquor cabinet,

shaking the Goldschlager,

insisting the flakes were real,

would make us rich if we could swallow them.

Katie Brunero taught poetry at the University of New Hampshire and served as the Managing Director of the Frequency Writers Organization. She has an MFA in poetry and an MA in fiction. She received the Young P. Dawkins Prize, and was shortlisted for the Letheon Prize and longlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize. She’s been nominated for a Pushcart and published in Cactus Heart, BlazeVox, Bellville Parks Press, Black Heart, The Bangalore Review and more. When not ranting about art she gulps pails of weak tea, tilting towards the sun. 

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