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17 (An Edge or a Precipice)
by Rosie Accola

Conflicting entities
silk thrift store camisoles purchased on balmy summer days
when family vacations and size-five shoes still fit.
The cashier gave me $3 off because
it looks good on you
That was the first time I realized
that maybe I was pretty enough
to get something I’d actually want
instead of mute boys with longboards/acne/shy smiles.

Floral print skirts with fabric starting to pill,
it’s the first day of school.
My history teacher’s favorite band is Jimmy Eat World.
When I was 12,
my favorite song was “23.”
Now,
I listen to Courtney Love howl.
I know the downbeat better than the weight of my own footfalls.
Courtney’s real.
She’s teaching me how to snarl,
through the slats in all the lockers.

I practice a grimace in the mirror,
I’m learning how to yell
that this crooked body is
mineminemine/
I’ll still flinch at yr touch.
It’s less about unhappiness,
it’s more about unrest.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me, at 17, drinking black coffee at a ski lodge like an emo ‘lil shit.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Usually when I write poems I’ll just piece together little bits of found dialogue or fragments that I scribble in little notebooks or on my phone. All of my untitled poems are referred to as “Sad grrrl #” ‘cause I come from a long line of emo femmes. For this piece, the title is a Stevie Nicks reference/ a call to the fact that seventeen was when I started to explore aspects of myself that are still relevant today.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Accola is a zine-maker, editor, and poet based out of Chicago, Illinois. Her first chapbook of poems, Feel Better, is out now via Goblin Prints. She is the online editor for Hooligan Mag and the Entertainment Editor for F Newsmagazine. When she was 17, she wore too much eyeliner and listened to a lot of Hole. You can follow her on Instagram: @rosieaccola

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me, today, equally, if not more, emo.