Closure – Amanda Pendley

I look back
the way women do to make sure they’re
not being followed home at night
I look for the boot prints
the hot air
the everything that reminds me of you
there is only one redeeming factor left
about churches anymore
and it is that you don’t have to go inside
to study the stained-glass windows
the people inside probably feel like they are atoms
minuscule things
looking up towards honeycombs
which makes me feel more god-like
not that it’s a competition
just that I am still alive enough to see
my breath in the air
instead of suffocating
hotboxed by hellfire
I always felt like fumes were coming
through the vents
little voices
in the way that they would keep the temperature
so cold you couldn’t get comfortable
enough to fall asleep
staying in the closet was a constant kick to the ribs
as soon as I would sink into my own warmth
the thermostat would drop below zero
southern Baptist churches rarely have stained glass windows
our pulpit had no windows at all
so no wonder it took me so long to
find the way out
I was blind in object permanence
a roly poly in an altoid tin
so when I see the sky
I look around
look behind me
afraid that the world will become a box
and I will lie bloody
impaled in its jaws
refusing to go back inside


Amanda Pendley is a twenty-year-old writer from Kansas City who is currently studying Creative Writing and Publishing at the University of Iowa. She has previously worked as an editor for Elementia Teen Literary Magazine and as the Nonfiction Editor of Ink Lit Mag. She is currently the Editor-in -Chief of Ink Lit Mag.

The Cabinet Of Heed Issue 32 Contents Link

Image by seagul from Pixabay 

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