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Poetry by Grace Beilstein

I’ll file you away —

I’ll file you away under


the frivolous phase in life

that doesn’t fit into the narrative

of driven,


rebel of ruinous affection,

attention in fitful waves.

Attention for you, my love, while

the story of me is carefully cut

between pages with blue-green lines,

my college-ruled ruin.

I repeat it back to myself

so the lines might contain me,

hold me in from spilling over,

emotional and weak.

We need lines,

where feelings distract

and the way you — oh you! — look at me

lingers and makes me forget

there is more to the future than you,

that the present flounders in

expectation for the hole you’ll leave,

you’ll leave.

It’s miserable,

the existence that needs folders

and little red exclamation points

for the people that matter to star themselves—

to say, hey! don’t miss this part,

you’ll regret not loving more

than any heartbreak.

Our world says it must.

Fuse burning inside me,

my mind wandering to worry

how it might all end,

how many years I might think of you

laying in someone else’s arms.

I can’t count on strength

when I see time as the rigid, stubborn line it is,

me, sweating and screaming,

trying to twist it into a loop

that leads back to you.

I’ll file you away

under “mistake”

in manila that smells of old smoke

and sandalwood — you, oh you —

and once it’s over,

with enough time,

I’ll convince myself

I’m right to pronounce us dead,

watch the helpless flat line

and shove regret back from its ponderous margins.

Margins that bend and reflect the light,

Margins read through tears.

Grace Beilstein (she/her) is a student at The Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas. She writes flash fiction, poetry, and prose. She is one of three main editors of her school's award-winning literary magazine "Falcon Wings."

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