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Published: Wed Apr 15 1981
Art: Paul TheriaultEver New (detail), 2022, acrylic and found paper on scavenged wood
Fifteen

she sulked
round her parents’ house for hours;
her father
was suddenly hateful, the smell
of him in the bathroom,
there, when she entered:
she gagged.

her mother: nervous,
quarrelsome, all
their familiar habits,
evening, oppression, and
she stretched, she tried
to breathe, she talked
to her friends on the telephone

pleading:
release me from family.
eat, her mother said.
she dug at her cuticles: how
her breasts ached, pushing outward
like little wings.

See what's inside AGNI 14

Kathleen Spivack is the author of The Beds We Lie In (Scarecrow, 1986), nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She divides her time between Boston and Paris, where she served as a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Creative Writing. (2000)

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