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Kallie Falandays

When woman was dinner plate

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When woman was dinner plate, it ached. Think of it: the mashed potatoes, slippery steak, all the olives, things called loaves, how terrible she shuddered in the cabinet when it stormed. And once, a boy almost broke her. Well, we all know that feeling, the disgust before shattering, the piece when you're picked up again. You don't much care by whom. And then after she was repainted, even though she shouldn't have been. She wasn't particularly beautiful, she couldn't hold heavy things evenly. She shook when the oven was on. When the oven was off. When the children were at school. She couldn't stand all the layers. All the separation. One side with green beans, the other rice. The thought of herself after everything was gone. The thought of everything after she was gone. She broke and became a monster.

The woman woke like a cave

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The woman woke like a cave. Her rumbling stomach shrugged the inside of the cave like a wool coat ripping in an empty hallway filled with speakers that echoed. There's no other way to say it. No one loves us when we're ugly and tired so we create our own attics and become them. And so the cave and the monster are one. The cauldron and the spoon are one. The woman and broken toes. The water reflected and the torn heels. Sometimes the morning is too bright to bear. She breaks like a boat and splinters all the walls with her slivers. She becomes the nighttime and eats the cave's growling so she can feel something inside of her. One day she dies and wakes up different.

Before the woman was an angel

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Before the woman was an angel, she was a mermaid. This is not her story. She was drowned in an oven. But before that, she suckled ocean through a straw. When her baby was born, her husband said: She carried you all the way from the mountain to the ocean's vein and she buried you to free you from the train's song, the window's latch, the claustrophobia of lifetime. She held you, he said, through ravine; through river. Past sitcom, past laugh track, past premise. She held you all the way through teenage, locker, bed spring. She washed you in mud, sand, and stone song. She wanted you to grow from sea foam. But that was before the baby was eaten by a tsunami. It was after slick lines were cast into her waters. It didn't seem like anyone was anywhere except for them, and then the rain came and they started to stop being mermaids because the rushing hurt them, it hurt them and they had to stop looking up so it wouldn't hurt anymore.

The woman became a bruise

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The woman became a bruise. How could she not? And to think, after all the water! After all the darkness. What else? And every time that she thought of blood she blossomed. She was yellow. She saw books about herself hidden under the bed: Life cycle of a bruise. She knew she would fade like an abandoned amusement park. She knew she would heal and was sad. She was pink and then was swollen. She broke down into brown and yellow. She had strange names. She wasn't pretty, but it was a sign that everything else was right. Like I said, she didn't wake up.

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