Julia Merante

I Started When It Was Cool

Smoke: creating, rotating, pulsating through my fingertips.
Nails stained: lemon

my tongue important, an orchestra of regret sits between
my dusted & golden
teeth—enamel screams as
the skeleton shoves his
finger back down my throat.

I can hear: burning lungs; smell: melting–my lips. I choke
as the smoke wraps
around my neck like a
noose.     I read:

Surgeon’s General Warning: Smoking may cause Lung Cancer,
Heart Disease, and

I trace the letters, for the fourth time today. Ripped and
tired seams stitched with
vapor, drips blood orange
gaps as ash falls on my
dirtied palms and burns

like it always does.


Things I Think About While Hiding In My Closet

I know how to dodge the lightning
because I have dodged worse: such as
crying eyes, or a dislocated shoulder.

I know how to sit criss-cross applesauce
because that is what they teach you
in Kindergarten on the magic carpet.

My closet is carpeted.
Sitting here is comfortable
and safe.

I know why the bones in my left ear are sensitive
because when I was a baby the cartilage was
severely bruised while I was learning how to walk.

I fell because no one was watching me.
Mom and him work eighty-hours a week.
He gets off one day a week.
(That’s when I sit here)

I know the after-math of apoptosis
because I have watched my skin cells shed
when I shine my flashlight on Tuesdays.


Julia Merante is entering her junior year at SUNY Geneseo, in upstate New York. She is an English major, with a creative writing concentration. She also has a biology minor, as well as a human development minor. Her goal after college is to earn her MFA. She is a truly emerging writer. With no submissions ever made, she in turn has had no publications. However, she did work as a Poetry Reader on the SUNY-wide literary magazine known as Gandy Dancer. In her free time, she enjoys her waitressing job, travelling, and watching movies with her mom. She appreciates your time and consideration in reviewing her work, and is excited to see where poetry can take her.

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