Friday the 13th

by Tara Roeder

The monopoly shuts off your electricity and your body tremors at the memory of everyone who’s ever touched you.  You forget how paragraphs work.  Stones settle in your mouth where words once formed.  Something in your body breaks, a tiny bicycle.  A family of tortured lab rats moves into your brain.

A theology professor tells the story of a burning virgin with relish.  You think about the history of obstetrics and try to imagine what it would feel like to have eight children in the early twentieth century.  You remember stained glass.   

The men at work eat tiny pieces of you.  The same gnat tries to commit suicide in the dog’s water bowl three times. 

You tell yourself to breathe.  It tastes like salt.  You hear iodine.

When a black cat crosses your path, you exhale.  You ice your wounded shoulder. 


Tara Roeder is an associate professor of Writing Studies in Queens, New York.  Her most recent chapbooks are Every Bird Is A Miracle, a collaboration with visual artist Arman Safa (DIAGRAM Press), and Panic Dance, forthcoming from dancing girl press.  

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