by Sarah Krenicki

When I was seventeen I had a monologue
and that seemed important.

I practiced it out loud while shampooing my hair
and in my head on the bus to school.
The lines were whispered into my pillow each night
in lieu of prayer.

You lie devil you lie — 
And then he come one stormy night to me —

Late at night
when my fingernails dug crescent moons into my wrists and
the skin of my legs yielded to my touch,
I recited the lines so softly I couldn’t hear myself.

They gave me flowers afterwards.

I kept them until they died and withered,
and still, a few of the blooms were tucked away in a dresser drawer.
Nestled against my rosary and some seaglass.
Precious things.

Fragile things.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me at 17 was taken at my junior prom (May 2009).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The most defining things about being seventeen were my decision to audition for The Crucible, and the onset of some pretty heavy depression. It was fairly easy to combine the two, as I could still remember how I balanced the taste of depression with my rigorous rehearsal schedule. That monologue very well may have saved me. (Looking back, it’s funny — I was surely the whitest Tituba the world has ever seen. That’s small town America for you.)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Krenicki has had work published in Amygdala, Rats Ass Review, Gemini Magazine, and a couple of other places, though she still doesn’t call herself a poet. Perhaps this is because she keeps thinking she’s still an undergrad (it’s been three years). Or perhaps it’s because she originally set out to write short stories. Either way, she supposes she’s going to have to start calling herself a poet any day now.