It’s not fair, but it is a story: for instance, wicked or at least beautiful. For instance, poison or at least a hangover. There are objets d’art, a multitude of bird feathers, giraffe-necked women breathing the last cotton summer they will ever say, “Yes, happy.” Dollars turned to coin, which jingle between pocket and lining of a silk jacket bought at a yard sale. It’s not fair, but even moths live beyond us. But also: this floral print dress is your half of the rent in a four-bedroom apartment close to the park. What do you do? Sever a finger and leave in a planter. The next morning what grows is golden as fairy tale, threads who ask not for loom or needle but one giant tree, whose bark flakes off like old memory. Astral projection is not the only way out, but it looks better than a firefly wiped wet across the cheek. If your mother named you after family, check yes. If not, please explain why in the box below. If your mother named you after who she hoped she would be, please show your work. It’s hard being a girl. Remember, always, isotopes. Remember, always, a golden comb, which you have left lying around, somewhere out of reach.

A graduate of Hollins University, MIRANDA DENNIS also studied in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her poetry has appeared in Meridian and Jellyfish Magazine, and she recently finished the draft of a novel that takes place in her home state of Alabama. Currently, she lives in Brooklyn and spends a lot of time petting neighborhood dogs.