Girlhood Gothic

By Daliah Angelique

we are petty girltime criminals,
all guts and guile,
all schoolyard blood pacts
and slumber party rituals,
queens of our dilapidated hospice town,
precocious and feral.

your yellow mothball house
four houses down and across from mine.
do you remember?
on Tuesdays you climb through my window,
fill the room with skunk weed stink
and cotton candy body spray
swiped from the pharmacy.
you always tease me
for my cluttered shelf of Breyer Horses,
and i forgive you because
i know you like my own shadow,
have memorized your freckles
and chipped teeth like a prayer

balance me on your handlebars
and take me down to that old pink chapel,
where we learned cats cradle
among the soggy you remember?
my pink sinew elastic around your fingers,
your body like a fresh grave,
warm and alkaline,
holy and breathless.

i once wrote
till death do us part
in your yearbook,
but you’re

Daliah Angelique is a lesbian poet chronicling memory, trauma, and queer joy. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Oyster River Pages, Off-Menu Press, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Spilt Milk, Anti-Heroin Chic, and NTCH Mag. She lives with her wife in Maple Valley, Washington. You can find her work on Instagram.

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