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Reading Sylvia Plath at Midnight - Elya Braden

How many line-breaks since she gave up

hoping her almost-boyfriend would text?

Even a booty call would be better

than alone in her sterile high-rise

with the night pressing in, the moon's

distant keening, its hooked nose out of joint

on this August night, the thermometer

spitting its exhaustion, the humidity

corkscrewing her blonde curls.

She knows she's not really a blonde,

not by birth or temperament,

but she longed for cream and honey

to sweeten her bitter brew,

and she thought, once, that the dark

swoops of her eyebrows over

her americano eyes might be

more seductive under a hat of sunshine.

Only now, reading Sylvia Plath at midnight,

does she realize the error of her ways

and mourn this cheap efficiency apartment,

its pseudo-kitchen so hopelessly lacking

a gas line; no oven in which to release

her dreams.


Elya Braden took a long detour from her creative endeavors to pursue an eighteen-year career as a corporate lawyer and entrepreneur. She is now a writer and mixed-media artist living in Los Angeles and is Assistant Editor of Gyroscope Review. Her work has been published in Calyx, Causeway Lit, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, Panoplyzine, Prometheus Dreaming, Rattle Poets Respond and elsewhere and has been nominated for Best of the Net. She is the author of the chapbook, Open The Fist, recently released by Finishing Line Press. You can find her online at


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