Choosing a Transitional Object

By LUIZA FLYNN-GOODLETT

Snip Hansons from Teen Beat while debating
Taylor versus Zac so passionately a curl escapes
its barrette and your best friend tucks it behind

an ear before it catches on lip-gloss. Start a fight
so she’ll get picked up early, forgetting a lanyard
on the den’s yellow shag. Wander past beehives,

quiet for winter, into the pasture where a hayloft
gasps open. Bite nails bloody telling yourself how
stupid she is, the fence posts kicked for emphasis.

Eat slices of bread from the bag. Then, diary
on knee, scribble page after page of not a lesbian
before securing the lock, removing its toy key.

Luiza Flynn-Goodlett is the author of the forthcoming collection Look Alive, winner of the 2019 Cowles Poetry Book Prize from Southeast Missouri State University Press, along with six chapbooks, most recently Tender Age, winner of the 2019 Headmistress Press Charlotte Mew chapbook contest, and Shadow Box, winner of the 2019 Madhouse Press Editor’s Prize. Her poetry can be found in Third Coast, Pleiades, The Journal, Barrow Street and elsewhere. She serves as editor-in-chief of Foglifter and lives in sunny Oakland, California.

[Purchase Issue 18 here.]

Choosing a Transitional Object

Related Posts

May 2020 Poetry Feature

KERRY JAMES EVANS
Everyone’s so proud / of Jethro for seeing the light, / which he will truly see next Tuesday, / when he rolls his Ford F-150 over a guardrail / and into the Buttahatchee River, / where so many dead bodies / have been devoured, even the river / has lost count...

Image of book cover

Kazakhstani Poet Aigerim Tazhi in Translation

Aigerim Tazhi
A shaggy cactus in the window / catches on the drape. A stinging / spine in the hand. Along the wall. / Don't step into a moonbeam, / Don't tread on a house-elf / Or any other living thing. / In the newborn darkness / Pushing away dreams and shadows, / Sit on a sofa, keep still...

Graffitied diamond

A List of His Flaws

PETER MISHLER
Single-headed. / Flowering inwardly. / Barely felt in the birth canal... / Cupped like a handful of sea uncertainly held. / Carried fire to the human encampment. / Herod in boyhood. / An herbicide. / Given name known to the weapons inspectors. / Anchorite.