Fifteen by Ariella Carmell

I came so far for beauty by Sammy Slabbinck
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In those days, we liked to call ourselves ‘feeble.’ Only then
could someone muster up the energy
to love us. Maria smoked a lot of menthols
then, suckling the filter like a teat. We flung
our panties like slingshots & felt our skin
bristle into each other.
Together we were a brood of litter, gasping
& whimpering & panting. Dependence was sexy.
We were sexy. We liked to practice
losing our virginities on each other. Put your hand
here, your lips there, yeah, I like that…

I like to think I can’t believe the things we did,
that I’ve grown past them. If anything,
I’ve grown on top of them. Mounds of decomposing
soil. My Maria now sleeps
with Pall Malls between her teeth
& all of Prague in her cunt. Her letters
smell like arousal even when she reminds me:
What we choose to remember approaches us
like a grope of the breast from
an unwanted boy.

Ariella Carmell

Ariella Carmell is a student at the University of Chicago whose writings can be found in Spry, The Adroit Journal, Literary Orphans, Cadaverine, Cleaver Magazine, and other publications. She is a winner of three National Scholastic Gold and Silver Medals, a 2014 Foyle Commended Poet of the Year, and a 2015 winner of the Blank Theatre Young Playwrights Festival. Catch her Carrie Bradshaw-wannabe column at