Amanda McIlveen







I think it will sting & it does. You jump, twist & close your eyes at the same time like it’s natural. I want to choke & vomit into the ocean. I want to blame it on the kid next to me. But there is nothing sexy about gulping for air & dying in New Jersey. Maybe for mobsters. Maybe for their wives. My lungs expand with what’s left of our home sunk inside. A horizon shrinks a burden until it’s a seagull getting fat off vinegar fries. I’m in love with the way your mouth moves when you aren’t talking. When it fills with salt. When it finds God inside a hermit crab. The way it looks.







The first call is always hold the wheel at 10 and 2. He tells me the last line is never for ribbons. I wish I was there to cheat your answers. The hole in the city of Toronto is the quickest way to put your freckles in my mouth. We must absolutely mean everything. We must absolutely ride the merry go round.







I found you crying in a neighbour’s backyard & you were bent over & you had broken my bedroom window. I heard the news & there were a lot of numbers involved. Empty rooms have always been empty. I left you my ten-speed. You didn’t get far.







In the morning we’re a line of stray cats. The common denominator of an exit is what happened last night. What I love about you is when your thighs touch. What I love about you is that you’re gone tomorrow.









Amanda McIlveen is a 30-something mother of one from Hamilton, Ontario.  She is the former owner and operator of Thunderclap! Press and is the author of I Crush You Like (22-5, 2017), You Sang it Back To Me (Mad Rush, 2013) and North of the Mason-Dixon Line (In/Words Press, 2005). 



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