Vitae: The First Decade This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 18, 2018
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I. [day 1]
My birth
was the passing
of a pigskin,
and my mother
vowed against pork.


II. [day 426]
Two solstices later,
a star emerged
from mother’s
moon-shaped womb.
Mother drooled over
the dwarf planet,
saliva pooling on her
mesmerizing reflection.
I watched my sister
occupy finite spaces
(like the crib in which
I jumped, attempting to
shatter the mirror).


III. [day 2,920]
I tattooed
the Act of Contrition
behind my eyelids
with phosphorescent ink,
reciting the prayer
every time I blinked:
My God,
I am sorry
for my sins
with all my heart–
for the bruises on my thighs,
the battle flag mother flies
(target practice and
trench-like scream lines),
the dissatisfaction in
her, their, Your, my eyes.


IV. [day 3,650]
Exiled to my bedroom
like lepers to Molokai.
Sand oozed
through the hourglass–
months passed
without acknowledgement.
The only indication
that I’m alive
is my overwhelming
desire to die.

I invoked the wrath
of El Niño
(blistering winds
which slap cheeks,
drying them at least):
I implore you,
mutilate my eardrums.
Brand my soul
with stereotypes
of savagery.
Slit my throat
with slander
and smother me
with guilt.
Do what you
would always do.

Monsoonal baby blues
between the door
and roof entrance
(an existential egress),
swinging pendulously
like my fate.

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