Three Poems From Leigh Chadwick’s ‘Pretend I Am Real’

Leigh Chadwick moves to a state so red you can’t tell if you’re bleeding. A state where everyone spends their days staring at the sky as people fly over them. Leigh Chadwick takes a nap and wakes up married, a thirty-year mortgage tied around her wrist. A baby glued to her chest. A pair of lips blowing smoke rings. She finds your hands a wonder. She hides your medicine hidden in the lockbox of her lungs. A song too famous not to hum plays in the background as Leigh Chadwick spends her Saturday afternoons washing the dirt off a garden in the kitchen sink. 




It is a lonely June night, probably 2014, though maybe it’s 2013, when Leigh Chadwick leaves the bar, gums soaked in gin, walking down Himmarshee St., sobering the lust of leftover tongue drying on the nape of her neck, and then she is home, alone, where she is met with nothing but the daddy longlegs creeping across the ceiling and the floor below it, swaying back and forth from the tide of an ocean miles away, and finally, the sound of a hair dryer flirting with the bathtub. 




Leigh Chadwick is the author of the chapbook, Daughters of the State (Bottlecap Press, 2021), and the poetry coloring book, This Is How We Learn How to Pray (ELJ Editions, 2021). Wound Channels, her full-length poetry collection, and Pretend I Am Real, a novel written in vignettes, will be simultaneously released by ELJ Editions in February of 2022. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in SalamanderHeavy Feather ReviewIndianapolis Review, and Milk Candy Review, among others. Find her on Twitter at @LeighChadwick5. 




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Categories: Poetry

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Shawn Berman runs The Daily Drunk. You can follow him on Twitter @Sbb_writer.

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