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that summer had eight terminal points
an octothorpe of endings
every day i woke up with a mouthful of vinegar
spit it out onto freshly laundered sheets
took them down to the basement laundry room
old men picking through my bin of panties and pillowcases
while i was in queue for the dryer
nothing is ever dry on the salish coast
maybe only a discount paperback
found on a sale table out front of a used bookstore
cover fading in the fleeting sunshine
think of the author of this threadbare poetry collection
perhaps a peristeronic boyfriend that no one liked
an older millennial who still used eggplant emojis
that boyfriend and i both with incurable lethargy
trying to muscle through clouds
parting the condensation with such fervour
i didn’t order this brain cocktail
nor did i ask to be part of this bootlegging operation called canada
the border of a turtle’s carapace has twenty-eight sections
thirteen pentagons inside
i have twenty-eight days between each full moon
thirteen full moons
to pray for/request clean sheets
unbridled sunshine
an end to the bootlegging operation

Panties and Pillowcases

Emily Riddle

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