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Deborah Bacharach

Deborah Bacharach is the author of After I Stop Lying (Cherry Grove Collections, 2015). She received a 2020 Pushcart honorable mention and has been published in journals such as Poetry Ireland Review, Midwest Quarterly, The Carolina Quarterly, Vallum, and The Southampton Review among many others. She is an editor, teacher and tutor in Seattle. Find out more about her at

It doesn’t matter

if you watch Survivor
all night curled on the couch
or Baywatch in Spanish
or listen to snarky podcasts or start drinking
a half glass of wine, just a little
Riesling, just a splash, just a dimming
of the lights at five or so or take a giant knife
to a giant bear and rip it
stem to stern so the stuffing
smashes into all the corners and even out
the briefly opened windows or you roll on
nylons without letting them rip for once,
struggle into the good bra,
the jacket that matches the skirt
that matches the pumps that you have on your feet
so they make a little click click
across the not-so-clean kitchen floor,
or you reach for the door,
you’re not going anywhere.

The Parade of the Century

That summer they planned a bike parade with a quick
proud march around the jungle gym, a swoop
towards tire swings, a triumphant four square court
finish. Bigger than Vietnam, of which
I knew nothing. Bigger than Watergate
of which I knew nothing. I did not know
how to ride a bike. I did not know a girl
was supposed to keep her shirt on or not get mad
when she got told to keep her shirt on. I took
my shirt off like a boy, scrounged up streamers, magic
markered and sparkled pink construction paper for
my red flyer, stuffed with bears as strong and golden
as Mark Spitz who also knew how to swim like I could
all the way across the deep end. And right now
when I feel like weeping, I lead the parade.
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