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For Dakota

by Brianna Burke


A childhood friend

(A bully)

Someone whose shoulder I can cry on

(Someone who turned their back once seventh grade broke down the door of our beautiful home)

They will always be there for me

(They will always be there to make fun of my weight, my personality, my queerness)


She who beams at me when I first see her apartment, she who asks me about myself

(She who whispers to her roommate “Is she gay, or just weird?” upon my departure)

She who offers me a superficial first bump for my accomplishments by day

(She who goes to the local bar with her other friends while I watch their adventures through my phone screen by night)

She who I welcomed with open arms when she was new and lost

(She who got what she wanted, and cast me aside in a fit of indifference and arrogance)


Her name sparks reminiscence, rage

A realm of regret, her redemption is ruefully futile

The way that you are, Dakota, it’s just so funny

But I’m done laughing

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