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Thoughts I Don’t Share While Out to Dinner with a New Guy

They say a lady never orders more than one cocktail,
which is why I carry a flask in my purse.

It’s hard to concentrate. Your biceps are quite distracting.

I’ve been told I have intense eye contact—
tell me what you think of me.

Mother just texted. She likes the picture I took of you
ordering the chicken, thinks we’ll make
an adorable Christmas card.
The women in my family are notorious.
We always think ahead.

If an octopus and a penguin mated,
what would they call it? An octo-guin?

My best friend stole my boyfriend, then married him.
What justifies betrayal? Does imagining
her heel, or her neck, snapping
as she walks down the aisle
make me a bad person?

A penga-pus?

I’ve grown fond of falling asleep to the coital sounds
of my upstairs neighbors. When I leave town,
I bring a recording to help me sleep.

Gravity is my favorite force,
the way it gives grace to everything
that falls, and I regret not being perfect.

Gravity is my favorite force,
the way it gives grace to everything
that falls, and I regret not being perfect.

Though you won’t love me the way I need,
I’ve already let myself believe you will.

There is a piece of spinach in your teeth.

A Millennial’s Unwritten Odes to her Many Terrible Jobs

To the man who ordered from me
a hamburger. I’m sorry.
I wanted to kiss you,
because you smelled like sage,
but didn’t, because
you had too many kids.

To the boss I had at Kroger
who consistently protested
my pants were never black enough.

To that time I worked at a gym,
and overheard this sweaty,
spandexed woman tell someone
that looking like me
would be her nightmare.

To the gym.

To the dad at the drive-thru window,
for asking me to go out with
his 12-year-old son
because he just won third place
at a skateboard contest,
and deserved a hot date.

To my movie theatre manager
who dared me to eat
an entire box of Twizzlers,
who laughed when I puked,
who fired me two weeks later.

To that same boss
who only escorted Elise
to her car at night,
and not me,
because I looked like “the kind of girl
who doesn’t get mugged.”

To the hair dresser
that time I worked at a hair salon
for giving me a free haircut
and then afterwards complaining
about my terrible haircut.

To the 5-year-old girl I caught
in the salon’s bathroom,
desperately licking the wall.

To her parents.

Bryanna Licciardi has received her MFA in poetry from Emerson College. Her debut chapbook SKIN SPLITTING is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press (August, 2017). She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and has had work appear in journals such as Poetry Quarterly, BlazeVOX, 491 Magazine, Adirondack Review, and Cleaver Magazine. Please visit for more.