By Catie Wiley

when you say you love me, 
my ears are full 
of applesauce. 
i hear the sounds but 
the meaning behind them.

every day, i try 
to shake the applesauce 
i try and i try and i try, 
but it’s no use. 
i can’t use a q-tip. 
no spoons allowed. 
a fork would never work, 
too much risk, 
and i’ve never wanted an ear piercing 

you say you love me and i want to ask you 
to write it down. in pen, not pencil. 
hell, a sharpie would be better. 
write it down so I know 
i’m not imagining it. 
write it down so 
i can hold it in my hands.
write it down. 
the muffle will linger.

Catie Wiley is a lesbian writer from Maryland. She’s a contributing editor for Story Magazine and a poetry reader for the winnow magazine. Her work appears in Stone of Madness Press, Wrongdoing Magazine, and warning lines magazine, among others. Find her on Twitter or at

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