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afterword on movement song by Amanda Pendley

                                    after Audre Lorde

ear drums burst in the

second row and it is worth it to feel

this close to something that can move you


heart breaks and mends itself from four

blocks down and I tell myself it was worth it

to feel this close to someone who can move you

who could play truth or dare with their emotions

drink the rotten milk

streak down the back alley

and slingshot their underwear through

the neighbor boy’s half open window

instead of moving towards me

I can’t tell if you’re lying when you’re lingering

just inside or out of reach

but never engulfed in an answer


spleen ruptures

appendix explodes

lungs deflate

organs become blob monsters

you are playing fruit ninja with

every aspect of me that wishes to forget

you were ever a possibility


we are dancing

in a way that bodies

are always dancing

if dancing counts as walking

and turning as returning

and leaping as me telling you


which I probably never will


we carry our insides in leather

wrinkled velveteen skin suitcases

we are flipped like fruit rolling

around in the bed of my mother’s

minivan trunk

we are colliding and then

falling away

bruising and becoming distant

we don’t have the self-control to

put ourselves into boxes so that we

don’t ruin each other

so that you don’t ruin me

or so I don’t ruin myself


hands have exorcisms as I try to shake

the idea of us off like attic dust I am

allergic to


my tongue

becomes candy

in my mouth

I bite down

let it dissolve

swallow it whole

quietly this time

I feel my chest drop

in the elevator

we still have a long

way to go

AmandaPendley-Author Photo.jpg

Amanda Pendley

Amanda Pendley is a queer twenty-year-old writer from Kansas City who is currently studying Creative Writing and Publishing at the University of Iowa. Her recent and forthcoming publications include The Hellebore, Vagabond City Lit, Ghost City Review, The Cabinet of Heed, and Storm of Blue Press. She often finds inspiration in Lorde songs, movement, and early 2000s Hilary Duff films. You can find her on social media @amandacpendley. 

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