From Pretend I Am Real by Leigh Chadwick

Monogamy is buying a gun and watching your lover swallow all the bullets. This is what Leigh Chadwick thinks as she lies in bed, listening to the thunder outside her window. It’s night, late enough to almost be called morning. A streak of light cracks through the blinds. Whenever Leigh Chadwick sees lightning, she imagines God taking a picture. The sky has been threatening to open for hours, and it finally does. Leigh Chadwick’s hands keep fiddling with themselves like they’re brand-new lovers. Oh, how they flirt. Oh, how they are filled with impossible passion with nowhere to go. Leigh Chadwick thinks, Or maybe monogamy is having someone to tell you where your hands should go. Everything outside has turned into wind. Leigh Chadwick listens to the trees hum as she stares at the ceiling, waiting for the kernels to pop.

Leigh Chadwick is the author of the chapbook, Daughters of the State (Bottlecap Press, 2021), and the poetry coloring book, This Is How We Learn How to Pray (ELJ Editions, 2021). Wound Channels, her full-length poetry collection, and Pretend I Am Real, a novel written in vignettes, will be simultaneously released by ELJ Editions in February of 2022. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in SalamanderHeavy Feather ReviewIndianapolis Review, and Milk Candy Review, among others. Find her on Twitter at @LeighChadwick5