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August, Living Alone

These days, the heat has given me free therapy.

It’s had me around the house dressed

like there’s a pool nearby when I haven’t been in

one since middle school. My thighs peel off

each other like lint roller sheets. My belly

bursts sheer buttons. This bulge I

bear, called my body,

bare, feels like being caught

in a lie I am still telling.

At least I am saving electricity.

I killed a cockroach again today.

This one had the gall to appear

in the kitchen at ten in the morning.

I screamed and winced

as I clapped a foam slipper

against the cabinet, terrified

an antenna would touch an inch

of my bared

body. So far this week,

we are tied: I’ve killed two and two

have gotten away.


WINSHEN LIU is a writer from Plainfield, Illinois who enjoys taking public transit (especially trains) and watching dogs play. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Baltimore Review, Brink, Gordon Square Review, Malahat Review, Ninth Letter, RHINO, and The Rumpus.


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