Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2016  Vol. 15 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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from Effusive Greetings to Friends

What if you are honest

in everything, Ms. Hicks thinks, except one small thing?
A wrapper of dishonesty wadded and tossed
in a dovetailed drawer that sticks each time it’s opened.

Ms. Hicks reaches her hand to the back
of her mother’s dresser and pinches the wrapper with two
fingers, slides it to the front, smoothes

the paper’s permanent creases to see one version of her story
pressed out again before her. We see her contemplate
the recycling bin. We see her memorize a journey to the landfill.

Ms. Hicks tears and chews bits of untruth
like an operative in the Eastern bloc. She straightens
her sunglasses. Adjusts her collar. Hunches her shoulders.
Dead-drops the spittled paper back in the drawer.

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