by Sarah Valeika

Magritte tossed her eyes across her daughter’s raw,
blistered palms,
nothing usual,
what an artist is this girl,
and saw her girl with the midnight curls and
pallid glow and desiccated lips‐‐

Magritte tossed her folded laundry onto the bed and
slid no concern between the paint‐stained and
the starchy linens and opioid imprints laced in blood like
silk trim
it must be

Postpartum depression and U.S. isolationism were
metallic and
17 was never so squalid as Magritte’s‐‐
only 17
and the birth pill didn’t penetrate history class.
A  pregnant U.S. isolationist with

a 4.0 and no art

But the girl?
She was pallid and ruinous and
the sort of devastation that comes on a pair of scissors beneath a foot‐‐
and they never intend to penetrate,
but do, and gouge

what an exquisite thing

Author Bio: Sarah Valeika is a high school sophomore who has had her work published in Menagerie, Teen Ink and The Noisy Island. She draws inspiration from her musical experience in an orchestra and her theatrical studies.