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Devin Stabley-Conde

[In the Cross- Countertop Silence]

when 50-year-old men
grin like sharks, I want to crawl out

of my skin & into a suit
of armor. I am
nametag bold: Not Fucking
Around. I will graft
scales to skin: if I harden, maybe
sweethearts & honeys will

                                ricochet. If blood could boil
I would fuel my steps
with red haze, diffuse it
through my pores & pigment myself—
let the predators know I am
poisonous          to         the         touch.

Please, stand in my
how-can-you-be-a-size-six shoes
for eight hours. Listen to men
speak. Watch their hands
come   across the counter & weigh
a paycheck against
my pride:             a glass bottle:            a hurricane
against their heads—the barrier to lives I wish
I could make    men   live.

Devin Stabley-Conde is from Youngstown, NY and is currently a senior English (Creative Writing) major at SUNY Geneseo. If she could pick a fictional character to be best friends with, it would be Pippin from Lord of the Rings.

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