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i am talking to myself as she prostrates herself on a stage

and says to the masses (which are really only me)          here i am come & kill me

i pelt her with little alphabetic prayers        a list of words

one for every day of bleeding                 (arcana spill or split bordeaux guilty gentian hollow lilt)

we each pretend this means anything it doesn’t       they’re just words i picked

because i liked them       she knows this she expected more she wanted me

to come at her with a dagger         says cut it out of me i don’t want it

you don’t get a choice i tell her you were born with this blue belief        this heart in your hands

eat it if you want it gone


Elizabeth Forsythe is in her final year of the MFA program at Columbia College Chicago, where she is an editor for the Columbia Poetry Review. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the Red Fez, By&By Poetry, After the Pause, and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago with her cat, Alice.