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by Alyx Chandler

It’s always there, hula hooping down the street.


On a bright day, in the driveway.

Bare feet in chalk smeared from rain. Small-hipped, smiling.


At 5, my mom said I was bewildered

each morning, not understanding what I saw.

It was like stepping on glass the size of a fingernail,

pulling the shard out, lodging it in my skull. Feeling relief.

Opening up the door, forming an orb.

Cracking it in two. I loved its shatter.


Here I am, so many years later:

missing the monster.


I join it once more, unhinging myself on the lawn,

twisting my torso in tight circles under pinched sky,

braiding my brain in calculated movement,

short-term relief, circular severity. It tells me


take the fact and fold it.

First in halves, then in fourths. Over time,

it becomes smaller. On a bright day,

it’s barely a shape.

Alyx Chandler (she/her) is a writer from the South who received her MFA in poetry at the University of Montana, where she was a Richard Hugo Fellow and taught composition and poetry. Her poetry can be found in the Southern Poetry Anthology, Cordella Magazine, Greensboro Review, SWWIM, Anatolios Magazine, Sweet Tree Review, and elsewhere at

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