Lauren Yarnall

Alone Again, I Turn Twenty-Five

In a month, I’ll be a quarter,
and I’d like to spend myself
on something my younger self
would think is cool— like
a jelly bracelet, or a plastic capsule
from a cheap machine;
one w/ a yellow lid
and a single temporary
tattoo curled up inside.
Now how grown-up am I? Standing alone
in my kitchen w/ a wet sponge
pressed to my forearm until I grow
a tiny heart there,
until a small pool of holy
water forms on the linoleum,
and my dog begins
to drink from it. Here, alone,
I get to water this heart
until it starts to peel. I get to pray
to the patron saint of empty
Doritos bags; the saint
of Bravo reality TV; of absentmindedly
masturbating and then crying
afterwards—shit, I get to
be
that saint. How many times
have I martyred myself? How many times
have I Googled what it takes to be considered
a saint?
And how many more times
will Netflix ask me if I’m still here
so I have to pick up the remote, aim
and click, yes, I’m still watching
and yes, I’m here?

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Lauren Yarnall is a third year Master of Fine Arts candidate in Poetry at the University of Idaho, where she also works as the Editor in Chief of Fugue. She is from Ellicott City, Maryland and received her bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Salisbury University. She is a Centrum fellow and Pushcart nominee, as well as a Best of the Net nominee and finalist for Yemassee's 2018 Poetry Contest. Lauren's work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Thrush Poetry Journal, Sugar House Review, Waxwing Magazine, Muzzle Magazine, Puerto del Sol, and elsewhere.