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zoe cunniffe

it’s only august,          but the air smells of autumn,

and time is soil clotted to my skin.

if i dug into my shoulder with a trowel,

scraped away hours of dreams i forgot come morning,

would i be fifteen again? dramatic, flailing, 

something bigger than my body

trying to crawl up my throat.


i want it back: thick october air, 

crisp and foggy,          wandering

crowded streets. now i’m learning 

the true meaning of a ghost town.

all my friends move away on different days, 

and i wave and wave 

until i am the blur i have always been.

this is all you’ll know of me: hiding under

my bed, turning my head back and forth

until i evaporate. i want to be fifteen.

not like the taylor swift song: chasing boys, 

pretending to have it all. i want to sink into something,

chilled to the bone, hovering in the dreamland

that dies every time i open my phone.



Zoe Cunniffe is a poet and singer-songwriter from Washington, DC. She has previously been published in literary journals such as Blue Marble Review, New Reader Magazine, Kissing Dynamite, and Small Leaf Press. Zoe can be found on Instagram at @there.are.stillbeautifulthings.





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