I lay in bed

till the microfiber threads

wove their way into my veins.

I played dead

curled up roly poly

till summer was on its deathbed.


and I thought about you,

the middle of June,

the streets of Seoul—

I pretended I was thinking of nothing at all.

But the playground taunts that never stopped,

echoed in my brain like a record skip.

Like a clock:

         tic        tic         tic

and I wondered how they changed me,

how the bullying rearranged me,

and I decided I would never know.


I swam in the cotton comfort of my quilt,

wondering why the glimpses that haunt

were the ones I boxed up,

stamped and sealed shut.

The impressions I crave, 

are they the same ones I mailed away

without a return address?


By Katelynn Paluch

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