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Horseshoe Magazine


Pexels/Nothing Ahead

I want to steal my teacher’s dictionary,
hide it in my bag, between the textbooks of things I have yet to know.

I’m far too behind. Five days at six hours a piece can only enlighten so much.
The second hand is gaining so I’ve decided to invoke consumption consummation.

I can’t help it. The press of a thumb cascades the pages. They lick the air and fall open.
They are begging to be indulged. Who am I to deny such an ardent request?

Cloistered in personal grief, I bring the book up to my lips. I lick it. Tongue meets forest.
I feel the prick of serifs, the cool slopes of italics, the abstract shape of bold.

Ink bleeds in my mouth. It stains my teeth and smudges the pages. Pools of words collect into concoctions of stories and headlines. I savor history in my mouth,

poetry and rage. Dictums, speeches, aphorisms all catch in the friction between my molars.
The pages form a thick paste and I receive urges to spit it out and read what they have to offer,

but I chew and swallow. My throat is crosshatched, but the macabre scene is loquacious and smooth as a school bell. Every syllable, every comma goes down. Every idiom and conjugation,

every definition and phonetic. Every last drop of sesquipedalian vigor is digested in hopes of absorption. I succeed in my endeavor and there is nothing left save for the cardboard cover.

The concrete is frigid against my feverish skin as I lie back and wait for the anarchy in my pit to subside. I give the prose time to sort itself out and promenade through my spine into my brain.

I wait for the omniscient education that my diet will surely provide. I nudge the idea that this might not be enough. I brush it off and wait.

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About the Contributor
Kaylee Salazar
Kaylee Salazar, Executive Editor
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