Lauren Yates is a San Diego transplant who is currently based in Philadelphia. Her poetry
has appeared in FRiGG, Melusine, The Bakery, and The Legendary. Lauren is also a
poetry editor at Kinfolks Quarterly. Aside from poetry, she enjoys belly dancing, baking
quiche, and pontificating on the merits of tentacle erotica. For more information, visit
As told through a game of Operation
I. Water on the Knee
As she falls from the fire escape, bones cake the concrete.
Whiskey floods the streets. The cemeteries scowl,
"How dare she outwit G-d, this manmade freckle."
"There's a one drop rule for our kind."
"Take your meat without foreskin."
II. Spare Ribs
At the birthday party, we eat
macaroni and cheese baked with shell pasta.
This is not macaroni and cheese.
III. Broken Heart
He's met other girls at the bus stop
for teriyaki wings and jasmine tea.
Him—daring in the ways I wasn't.
Her—daring in the ways I'm not.
She sits in his lap at the bar.
They exchange "fuck me" eyes.
I jazz-square my lonely.
IV. Charlie Horse
In the dancehall, sangria
spills from paper cups.
Men sink teeth into her lovely;
it gives fake names and numbers.
V. Bread Basket
"When you double-park, buy hot chocolate.
Bribe the doorman shivering outside."
VI. Writer's Cramp
Do not lend yourself to being worshipped.
VII. Wrenched Ankle
You think making the bed means assembling a bed frame.
Your stripper heels have dollar bill slots.
would your shoes be ironic if they weren't see through?
Imagine them as mirrors instead.
VIII. Funny Bone
Your privilege fits like a Peter Pan collar.
You say you dress in black to be "artistic."
Really, it lets you do your laundry in one load.
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