Bethany Baker

Bethany Baker (she/her) is a writer who loves cats and coffee. Her greatest accomplishment is being sober for four years and counting.


The song comes on and your hair 
turns black, your jawline, a squiggle,
and we’re trapped inside a maze.
                                                        Take on my debt. Take on 
                                                        my detangler. Take on 
                                                        all this rudderless clutter.

We dance in the middle 
of your bedroom. You knock
on the doorframe. I wink. 

		                                     Take on these lies.
                                                     Take on who dies.
                                                     Take on the cries. 

Somewhere a keyboard’s on fire, 
my hair’s caught in a scrunchy,
and an eraser chases from behind. 

                                                     Take off. All hope is lost.
                                                     Take off those pencil shavings 
                                                     dangling like dander from your ears. 


You won’t tell me why,
but I know why. You’re 
in a parade, center stage
on that float with your 
parents waving, smiling.
I don’t know how many
hours it took for them
to make this lovely
cloud, but you can’t 
come down now. You 
can’t tell them the truth.
You will never caress 
a woman. You’ll never 
love me like that.
I wish you could be 
crowned and loved 
for what you are, but 
instead we roleplay. 
At the holidays, I’m your
girl. After, you’re back 
with him. My heart’s
in the oven waiting
to cool down, but 
no one’s ever turned it
off. No one cared
to tell me why.

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