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by Phoenix Alarcio

What’s the cure for the lone wolf, hungry
to howl with her pack? What’s the cure
for fictionalizing real life, fashioning your
fantasy out of ratty paperbacks and diaries

found at the flea market? Thumb to a random
page in every book. Each first word strung
together makes a sentence. Each insult flung
is just a jest. Everyone’s LARPing, fandoms

collide like pinball machines and I am stuck.
Like pushing on a pull door, I fumble to form
friendships in this pressure cooker cacophony
of love ideologies. To communicate or to cut?
That is one question. Can I even trust my own
perception? Or am I merely sleep deprived?