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Arvilla Fee teaches English Composition for Clark State College and is the poetry editor for the San Antonio Review. She has published poetry, photography, and short stories in numerous presses, and her poetry book, The Human Side, was just released December 2022. For Arvilla, writing produces the greatest joy when it connects us to each other.


Trigger Warning

Words hurled against the wall,
breaking like glass plates,
shards around her shoulders.
She cringes, retreats to a fox hole
for the duration of the battle.
She’ll bear the bruises tomorrow,
but no one will know behind layers
of foundation and her crooked smile.
She’s good like that—changing her coat
to white when faced with winter snow.
Only her eyes tell a different story,
but who looks at eyes anymore
since most reside on mobile islands,
too busy to spare a glance?
So, she’ll carry on, stiff upper lip
and all; she’ll return home to flowers
and apologies—each lavishly lined
with manipulation. Then she’ll don
an apron and stand ramrod straight
as he hugs her from behind—knowing
she’s one misplaced salad fork
from rinse and repeat.

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