← Issue 9


by Jessica Costello

  1. I share a birthday with the American flag and Donald Trump.
  2. But I was born a Barbie doll. 11 inches of controversial plastic.
  3. Dead.
  4. Her last breath made space for my first. I don’t know if it was an even trade.
  5. Even though I don’t believe in star signs, the stuff about Geminis being indecisive is accurate. Or is it?
  6. Perhaps because of my brush with death, forget the wedding song, I’ve got a funeral playlist ready.
  7. But first, three songs to get to know me: Motion Sickness, Ringside, Masterpiece.
  8. I rewrite my to-do list so many times, you’d think this one would be easy.
  9. My dad grew up in a crumbling Section 8 apartment with my grandmother and only clouded memories of his father and wants me to be better off.
  10. I sometimes wonder whether I would be more or less reflective if I had siblings.
  11. As a child, adults thought I had a photographic memory when I knew all the names of the dinosaurs. Boy, I wish I could forget the look of disappointment in your face. The date you left for good.
  12. You left me good.
  13. I loved books gone out of print, TV shows that got canceled, games and toys you can’t find in stores, forgotten B-sides, except nothing on YouTube is forgotten anymore.
  14. I was the kid who got picked last for teams in gym class.
  15. I thought I was a freak until I met the friends I have now. We’re all freaks, together.
  16. Writing my problems away works as well as drinking them away. They always come back.
  17. In college, my apartment’s overflowing trash featured a sticker that said “men”.
  18. That’s obviously a generalization but it’s still funny.
  19. I think it is possible to love someone so much you want to keep them safe and adore them but you still maybe don’t want to have sex with them and that is okay.
  20. I love the silence of a chapel and the crack of a good thunderstorm.
  21. Sometimes I like to walk as if a cape is flowing out behind me.
  22. There have been dark nights,
  23. Brighter mornings,
  24. And days I can’t classify.
  25. I am teaching myself what to do for other people and what to do for me.
  26. The radio volume belongs on an even number, and apparently so do list poems.

Jessica Costello
recently finished her master’s in clinical counseling psychology at Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her work appeared in iO Literary, 50 Word Stories, and Amendo.