How American history restarted and you couldn’t tell if you were older or it was worse. When
one color is no longer one color. Numbers through tears. The wrong shoulder the trampoline.
When I didn’t know heat runs through metal and smoke filled my door. Unwrapping the tuna
sandwich. Handing over is the same as last week. Women say sorry too often so I’m sorry. When
asked if I defer I referenced this man. My sister wants to be not me; in this way she becomes us
all. The adjacent squares like cows. Thick and alive. Which is to say we’re branded, except the
other way, popping out. Accommodation means giving up faith. To go from here and here to
there without knowing how. This is why we return each week. The water eating away my toes
and the silver painted on my nails. To fill a space becomes obligation. Silver like the light beside
the bed. Metal sheets like paint. Each line an unwavering loop. When I was younger I wouldn’t
press hard enough. My teeth stuck out and in.
Zoe Stoller is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania. She recently co-authored a book, The Philadelphia Museum of Art Handbook from Memory, with students from a year-long experimental writing intensive taught by poet Kenneth Goldsmith. She is the Assistant Poetry Editor for Cleaver Magazine and the Web Editor for The Adroit Journal. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Cleaver Magazine, Fissure Magazine, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, and Word Riot, among others. In addition, one of her one act plays was produced in a theatre festival Off-Broadway. For more information, visit www.zoestoller.com.