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“but when will I get a literary agent?”

i whine aloud in a writers workshop

wiping garlic dip on my bike shorts

and pruning some tweets about cream pies.

i made a promise to myself in the 5th grade

that i wouldn’t grow up to be ordinary

worse, i’d grow up to desire fame

the happiest woman i know

is a dental hygienist who loves her dad.

i can never tell if i want to write a book

or just punch three men in the face

it’s hard to let the past go

when it’s the only thing that makes the present feel

interesting how am I supposed to mythologize a


online shopping is just buying vintage dresses

to try and recreate the days

when you had the allure of a girl in a vintage dress

the best years are behind you, etc.

but for $38.99 you can pretend

you’re drinking PBR and carrying around a notebook again.



last night we laughed until i couldn’t breathe

and i fell asleep hugging a plush axolotl

instead of Googling symptoms of emphysema

i know therapy is working

because these days instead of getting mad at my friends

i’ll sit in a park until i feel better than everyone else

i swear i’m like two hikes away

from wearing a carabiner in public.

recently i had a nightmare where i realized

that “normie” and “basic”

are just pejoratives for healthy

grassroots activism is everyone with a bad childhood

taking all the shit we missed out on

and collectively deeming it uncool.

i think i’ve waited too long be in good love,

to finally text “hello” in the daylight

still, if a sweaty man leers at me in Target

i smile back in the hopes his wife notices

just to feel like my old self again.

i’m scared if i let the past go

there will be nothing to me.

every song ever is about a girl and her old ways

but you make me feel like i can still be interesting

without hardwood floors or bad habits.



this weekend i watched the only good men i know

get married underneath dive bar decor

next to a heap of Italian cookies

you know you’re happy for someone

when you can take three shots in their kitchen

without making the entire night about your food allergies

and how you can’t remember what biscotti tastes like.

half the guest list last saw me

pissing outside a residence hall

you weren’t allowed to live in

unless you spoke French

or had purple hair and good grades.

college is about wearing a beanie and pretending to read

life is about wishing you actually did.

whenever a girl with a nose ring is nice to me

i feel like i’ve never listened to Twenty One Pilots

paradise is where no one cares about Instagram

you’re only uncool here if you don’t share your ranch

i want to live forever where the coasts don’t matter

and you can talk about art over a basket of wings.

downtown i check out my tits in a tobacco shop window

this city raised me in her own image

polluted and beautiful

sometimes i cross the river just to choke

this time it’s on laughter

my friends kiss like love is obvious

and the skyline swallows us whole.


Rachel Elizabeth is a writer & poet based in the absolutely glamorous city of Pittsburgh, PA. Her writing has been published in Lustery POV & The Belladonna Comedy. You can find her poems in Olney Mag or on a TGI Fridays napkin in the bottom of her purse. Twitter: @chaotic_sub; IG: @rachel_e_lizabeth.

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