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It’s a Full Cycle - Julien Griswold

Hold me, hold me, hold me

like my laundry machine. My washer

and my dryer and my mother

who taught me how to fold sheets.

They require two people, four hands

for each corner: bunch together,

rush towards me holding linens

and let us break apart with something small,

place it on a shelf. The wash never spat

out the clothing I wanted: big, swelling dresses,

shiny boots, bloomers with red bows,

so I rolled them from fresh sheets, secretly

before showers– cover then uncover myself.

Back then, nothing was too tight. Back then,

I had a room with many windows, and only the pumpkin

patch could comment on the way I danced

and where the comforter hugged my thighs

too tightly to forget. And I curled into my book

light and dried my hair with the pillow and refused

to move the sheets from where they fell: a heap

missing a body.


Julien Griswold (they/them) is a non-binary poet studying literary translation at Brown University. Their work has appeared in Philadelphia Teen Stories, LIVE POETRY SOCIETY OF NEW JERSEY, Imazine, and more. Connect with them online @cheerupjulien on Instagram.


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