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Career Opportunities

By T. J. Dennett

Last night's vodka wishes sit granted at the bottom

of a wastepaper basket, as clothes lie abandoned

like dead effigies across the bedroom carpet.

A headache groans as she checks for her phone

for messages on Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter.

Pulling the sheets over her face, her tongue

kisses the familiar taste on her lips:

masculine, bitter.

Three floors below a pigeon spreads rumours

to passing students in the breeze,

about how she teased his religion

and his sense of humour, but got down on her knees;

brushing her finger through the hairs from his navel,

to the belt on his jeans.

They called her Riley because she'd done it on a snooker table.

The morning sky glows brighter than the hair of Patsy Palmer

as she examines the evidence

like a detective drama;

searching for clues within the threads

of her cotton pyjamas.

Her hangover triggers a memory that comes thick and fast,

like a strawberry jelly, as she reaches for a glass

of water and places her hand on her belly.

Six months later, head bowed in pretend prayer

over library tables; revising for exams,

she sees her future ahead of her:

rocking cradles and pushing prams.


T. J. Dennett is a writer and performer from Northamptonshire, England. He lives with his wife, daughter and their Labrador.


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