Besides Literary Heist, the poetry and prose of Robert L. Penick have appeared in over 100 different literary journals, including The Hudson Review and North American Review. Much of his work can be viewed at


Trigger Warning

Wow. One drink and suddenly
the weight is off you.
The spine straightens and
the head pops back up, alert.
You’re no longer walking barefoot
on razor blades.
A couple more, and you’re laying
on velvet, wrapped in velvet,
in a warm room where
no one has ever hurt you
and no one ever will.
It increases the burden, though,
each return from Eden,
and you’ll wake up bitter
and beaten. Perhaps you’ll dream
of your childhood, or something else
you did wrong, long ago.
If not, the new day
will create new demons,
original grief, more weight.

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