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Gila River Review
Chelsea Lothrop


My bones are paper and yours glass.  I rip apart at the edges – broken and quiet and crying – and you shatter, violent and sudden and loud like someone yelling to get out of the way.  Your heart stays hidden, tucked away like some treasure you’re protecting from the world.  All the gold coins and strings of pearl shine and lure in those love-starved girls with their lusting eyes, but you give them a glimpse and shut it back up, swallow the key.  They’ll never know what’s at the bottom of that treasure chest but here I am leaning into you and our hearts are beating together and, for a second, even with my eyes closed I can see the key.  And one day you’ll press it into my palm and we’ll both stare for a moment and then I’ll open you up.  Your eyes will be wide and your breath might be shallow and your hands might shake but you’ll give up the hold you’ve had on your heart for so long and let it beat like it is supposed to, wild and free.  All good things are wild and free, you once told me.  And despite your desperate, expert disguise, I could feel your soul aching for freedom and for the wild.

Red Matador

You learned a long time ago

That it's the waving of the flag,

Not the color,

That attracts the bull.


So you wear red

On your dress and your lips and your nails,

And keep very, very


Not Quite Sleep

midnight cracks its knuckles

and you ready yourself

for this next beating.


nights that keep you up

with bone-cracking assaults

are beginning to get the best of you.


your battle scars are piling up

like old dusty pages in a bookstore

everyone's forgotten about.


in the morning you'll watch the sun rise

with freshly painted black eyes

swollen from midnight's raining punches.


it's not charming like in the movies,

the backwardsly lovable insomniac

with a million problems and some great intrigue.


no, when you don't sleep,

the world jumps out from under you

in quick flames and ocean tides.


your mind is dancing in the fire

that cracks and bends in black air

then washes away and leaves you freezing.


then the shelves of your mind crumble

into a pile of broken wooden bones

and you settle into a silence that's not quite sleep.

Chelsea Lothrop: "I am a nineteen-year-old student hopelessly devoted to poetry and prose, mystified by words and the power of their arrangements.  I use writing to expel my inner demons and share my inner joys with the world.  I'm just a small fish in a very, very big pond but I am hoping to make some sort of name for myself, even if only to reach one person with my words." 



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