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Madisen Kuhn Feb 27
sitting across the white kitchen table
or cross-legged on my side of the bed
or beside you on a couch covered in dog hair
is a hollow mold of a person.
not as sweet as one of those
chocolate easter bunnies no one ever finishes.
not as dead as the inside of a black rotting trunk
but close. inside my head is a seam ripper
that splits everything down the middle.
sometimes you are standing in front
of the bright window, glowing like a saint.
sometimes i let you fall into an algae-lined pool
that i will not pay to have cleaned.
everything is floating within me.
i haven’t figured out how to anchor this stuff down.
no one ever taught me how.
Madisen Kuhn Feb 25
i don’t think my mother
ever brushed my hair.
and if she did,
i can’t remember it.
i could lie and say
that i wonder why,
but i know why.
it was because
she was busy with
my sister’s brand-new curls,
busy tending to her own
dark roots and dry ends.

when i am a mother,
i will balance my sons
and daughters on my lap
and one by one
comb through
their soft mops
with patient hands.

they will never wonder
why i left them
to sort out
the knots
on their own.

they will know
i am there
to help untangle
the predestined messes
caused by the wind,
and caused by me.
Madisen Kuhn Feb 25
there is a modest
one-story home
with white stucco walls
and a red tiled roof
waiting for me somewhere
near a floridian beach.

the yard is flat and dry.
some days, i’ll lie there
on top of a patterned quilt
in a two-piece
hand over brow
reading a thick memoir
on loan from the library
that sits on the other side
of the brush, beyond
the wooden fence.

winter will just be a memory.
every week, my toenails
will sink into the sand
wearing a different shade of pink.
i will not fold away
my sundresses and shove them
under the bed.
they will only leave
their wooden hangers
to be worn and washed.

time simply records the falling
and growing and falling of things.
one of these days,
i will be the budding lily
pushing up dirt
to greet the other side with
all of the beauty
i am ready to be.

i have fallen enough.
Madisen Kuhn Feb 17
keep me awake
i keep falling asleep

i keep forgetting 
that i have
fearfully crawled
into places filled
to the brim with
heartbeats and
suffocating heat
just to find myself
with dry palms
and a soft jaw
minutes later

i hold my tongue
only to cut it off
when i hate
the feeling of it
inside my mouth
and leave it for
him to hold
all pink and slimy
and frantic and cruel
and wonder
why it’s hard for him
to read my poetry

and every night
i lie my head
against the chest
of indifference
and swear that
i can hear the
lazy thump of
his affection
resting shallowly
below thin ribs

i am kept awake
through the
loneliness hours
considering
my own
self-inflicted
wounds
instead of dressing
the deep cut
we both share
Madisen Kuhn Feb 12
sometimes i drift
into another life
where ivy crawls up
the side of 
a warm building
to my left
as i walk
hand in hand 
with you,
your parents
strolling slowly
a few paces behind.
everything is still
inside of me.
i do not fear 
the future
nor ache for
the past.
my heart beats
quietly next
to yours.
i am only here,
only there.
i do not drift.
i listen to love songs
and am reminded
of my own
happiness.
Madisen Kuhn Feb 10
the rain has stopped
and the birds are lining
the sidewalks, shaking
their feathers dry.
today will be slow
and i’m okay with that.
i’ll cook and clean
and sit on the balcony
and breathe in the mild air.
i am happy and lucky
to be here.
it makes my heart heavy
to know that i must
remind myself of that
so often.
Madisen Kuhn Jan 29
every day
i look into
a mirror
with smudges
all over the middle
framed in gold
with carvings of
birds and vines
at the edges
there are little cracks
that sometimes
my fingers
get caught on
and i bleed quietly
onto the cold
floor

it doesn’t like
to be kissed
when my hair
is half up and
half down
but still
i leave my
balmy lip stains
defiantly on
the spaces
i can reach
and focus on
everything
in front of me
except for my
own
reflection
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