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"You can't plan your life around someone."

Callie Crouch

No, you can, as long as they pinky promise

to not shapeshift into an alligator

when you turn your back, death rolling

through your laundry, turning your old shirts

into sentimental rags. And as long as

the Philodendron they gave you

totally outgrows its pot, so you can dance

on the rubble of that pretty terracotta one,

turning their extra couple bucks into dust.

And as long you're still a woman

when it's done, vocal chords thumping

of appreciation for a love turned sour;

a feminine heart bubbling

as it beats in a puddle of Sour Monkey.

A woman fully realized

knowing she can plan her life around

whoever the hell she pleases, as long as

she shows herself the tenderness of a zookeeper

when the gator chomps

and the plant fucking dies

and it's time to fetch the pieces.



Callie Crouch is a graduate student at Saint Joseph's University pursuing a Master's degree in Writing Studies and former Editor-in-Chief of the university's literary magazine, the Crimson and Gray. Her work appears or is upcoming in 14 journals and anthologies, including Coffin Bell, Roanoke Review, Pinky Thinker Press, and Hive Avenue Literary Journal. Callie lives and writes in Philadelphia.

Image Credit: Emma Grey Rose, "Summer's Eve Series/Night"

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