She reads horror movie plots
in the comments of old blogs,
the goriest bits spoiled
by banal plain-text,
marred only by the stray
She had needed no
to explain the concept of "heavy flow"
or to learn that you felt men's eyes
before you saw them.
When the phone rings,
she answers and blurts "What's wrong?"
then waits for an answer
in the careful enunciation
of the pharmacy's automated reminder
to pick up her prescriptions.
third in her class,
she accepts an internship
reviewing entries to a
(Her friends have never understood
the significance of the word
She submits three drafts to the journal
on the nature of grief;
they land on her desk.
She forwards them along.
The rejection letters were boilerplate,
nothing like the notes
in her coworkers' emails:
"Lacks authenticity. No passion. Feels
like a technical exercise."
The emails she left in a folder
and the letters she hung on the fridge
at home, below the photographs;
She reads them every morning,
and again each time she pours a glass of water.
by C. Sebian-Lander
About the Author
C. Sebian-Lander is a former M.F.A. student, now living and working outside of Washington D.C., who habitually writes poetry, at least the first drafts, about the same way he tweets: with very little regard for whether anyone gives a shit, but the assumption that no one does. So it goes.