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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

cheerleader; baby’s breath; hag

By: Christina Litchfield


all those fine words you sing beneath the field bleachers where you tease the dirty blonde girls

there is supposed to be something sacred in between the sentences that build the chants uplifting the crowd

and I am meant to translate, to take the shit that you divulge while you cum and turn it into something beautiful

something to be remembered something worth repeating in rhymes or line breaks or whatever

fuck you I had your rhythm before you popped that mint gum in the morning

go on, dare you try to take me while I swallow everything you have and leave

you with Nothing.

baby’s breath

the house is black almost

rushing water, a footstep, words

ping silent in the middle of

what was commanded and what

was received

they don't do what you tell them to


I run a tight ship you say

tell yourself keep telling yourself

get lost in the telling

he hollowed out

your heart with a fist

and holes are hard to fill

with mouths sucking oxygen

the rock and the hard place

don't matter when

flames need air to burn


the spaces in between


youth never held me like it should beautiful before knowing what beauty was

now shuffling boots in the aftermath turning over what was good

marks stretch across the curved belly of before I lived

they keep telling me I can’t write poetry for who I was

and I keep scratching an epitaph for

who I am


Christina Litchfield is a third-year PhD English - Creative Writing student at Binghamton University. She also teaches first-year writing at Arizona State online. In her supposed free time, she juggles nine spirited kids with the help of a wonderful husband who maintains her sanity to the best of his ability.

"It's amazing what the appearance of a new little laugh line can do. Straight from the mirror to the laptop, I wrote 'cheerleader' as a bitter throwback to those glorious-terrible teenage days, deep in feminine objectification but at least wrinkle-free. I just so happened to be writing at the tail-end of my kids' bedtime routine, in that moment when it should be quiet, but it isn't, not quite. And 'baby's breath' arrived as a temperamental ode to motherhood that is no longer shiny and new. Once the house truly was silent and I contemplated the two new poems and the uphill battle ahead to get them published, that wrinkle started twitching and 'hag' was born, kicking and screaming all the way. Three poems, three life stages that women know all too well."


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