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I long for a life with sour candy clung to my fingers

and laughter stuck to my lungs,

where solitude feels not lonely but free.


A life where relaxation is a right 

instead of a resistance,

where I feel all my mother's love

and none of the dizzying distance.


In my different forever,

Raspberry sky shrouds lemon drop sun.

Your gentle songs and quiet touch

Shield me from my fears.


When I was yours you grounded me,

Like an hour in Mass used to

Back when I was happy enough

To believe in God.


My red pepper flake spring

and incandescent summer were

Documented by photographs never seen

And unfinished journal entries.


Then you left fingerprints 

On my every autumn memory:

Which begs the question if I really loved you or

If I loved that you were always there.


The winter days spelled your name when

I realized my fatal mistake:

I fell too quickly when I was young

And waited too long for you.


They say to trust your instincts, but

If I did I'd be halfway to Paris right now, 

leaving voicemail love confessions 

for a dozen unsuspecting acquaintances.


Instead I'm nostalgic for memories never made

And left empty by lovers that've long forgotten me.


The fringed edges of my life would be

Easier trimmed than mended,

But I've yet to meet an easier choice 

That was also the right one.


Let's bleed our watercolors together.

Art need not be excellent to be valuable.


I don't want to be perfect: I want to be yours.


L.J. Gallagher

L.J. Gallagher is an investment banker and creative writing alumna of Villanova University. Her work has been featured in The Rising Phoenix Review, Lavender Review, Written Tales Magazine and Moonstone Arts’ New Voices. Her poem “Christmas Tree Friday” received a Top Finalist award in Wingless Dreamer’s My Glorious Quill contest. L.J. resides in New York City and most enjoys writing about growing up, nature and queer love. Her favorite poets are Taylor Swift, Seamus Heaney, Richard Siken, Matty Healy and Caitlin Conlon. Her work can be found at


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