strung like tightropes across her teeth
something unspoken holds her tongue back.

if she were to let It spring loose,
It would probably jump from her mouth with such force It

would singe somebody’s eyebrows. It would char her lips but It
would mean something. and It would smell of

exhaustion or
smallness or

strange cologne that’s too close, an empty bus and a
man who reads the Times, but can’t read “go” in crossed

arms. It is shattered glass, blood mixed with wine and whiskey. It tastes of kitchens
flooded with women, warm light, sad laughter. It tastes of a tangible divide, of


and bittersweetness, of
dashes of sugar, spice, and


is the apron she wears.
is because she hates cooking
is the little scars on her arms from hot grease

and It is time.
too much time.

Rose Joseph ’16

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