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The truth of it pools in my mouth,
soft wet pulp: I am not enough.
It is a lacking well-worn, kneaded
into folds of failing flesh.
Talent skipped a note in me, played
the makings of a masterpiece off-key.
Delusions of grandeur, diluted over time,
misshapen by rhyme—I am a wreck—
I am inferior—I am failure—failure—
faithless—burn these walls to the ground.

Here, scrawled in the ashes of who
I might have been—could have been—
was never going to be, goddamn it—

I am not enough. We sit shiva for those
we’ve lost. So say a prayer and sit for me.

Emily Ruth Verona is the author of the novel Midnight on Beacon Street, published by Harper Perennial in 2024. She is a Pinch Literary Award winner, a Bram Stoker Awards® nominee, and a Rhysling Award Finalist, with work featured in magazines and anthologies that include Under Her EyeUnder Her SkinMystery TribuneThe GhastlingCoffin BellRust & MothThe Jewish Book of Horror, and Nightmare Magazine. She lives in New Jersey with a small dog. For more visit
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8 Jul 2024

The statue of that gorgeous and beloved tyrant, my father, stands in a valley where the weather has only ever been snow.
Panic will come / for every fuckwitted one of us
Neural-lace, my brain interfaced
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