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I am a contested territory - Julie Benesh

Was she pretty, poor, ugly, rich? Hard-

working or lucky? Her 7s look like boarding school

in Switzerland, but her scars tell a different tale.

She got that job

because they knew no one else wanted

it and she couldn't do anything else,

but they could have at least

offered us first.

Never got a big job I interviewed for. The powers

that be, the culture at large, insists I'm a citizen

of a representative democracy that breeds

identity politics. But I'm no one's vote.

I call myself a mongrel

howling under the moon

looking for the light-

quenched invisible stars,

a thousand year old vampire,

yearning for humanity.


Julie Benesh has published work in Tin House, Crab Orchard Review, Florida Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Hobart, JMWW, New World Writing, Cleaver, Sky Island Journal, and elsewhere, and her 48-poem chapbook ABOUT TIME is forthcoming from Cathexis Northwest Press. Read more at


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