Back to Issue Twenty-Six.

There is so much pressure in a white dress



The thing is life gets in the pits,
all yellow, all used. Get out of here
with your dog-eared under-arms, baby.

You have to pretend to be dead
or wear it for a good reason. So I wore it
to the movies & I cried at the previews.

I wore it to the cafe & I asked for some alternative milk.
I wore it to the protest & they took a picture of me
without my permission. I spilled beer on it

at the punk show. I took the train
going the wrong way. I learned my lesson & I took it back,
tucked it into a box & then under my bed.

I wore it to space. I tried to be a star-fucker
but I forgot protection. I wore it to a brand new city. I tried to live
in the moment but my bank account overdrew.

I listened to “Heaven knows I’m miserable now” & it got stuck
in the zipper. I hopped up & down & it didn’t come off.
I went to the park & I pretended to read a classic on a bench.

I held flowers then I put them in my hair. I went to parades.
I said “Woo!” because I’m a “Woo!” girl. I had a few drinks
& I said “Esooo!” instead. I walked under the archways.

I threw pennies into the fountains.
I went to the readings. I wrote down my favorite lines.
I passed by all the mirrors.

I touched all of the sandals on sale.
And it still got colder. And the leaves still
changed color. And you still couldn’t see me.


Melissa Lozada-Oliva is a poet & educator living in New York by way of Boston. She is the author of chapbooks Plastic Pajaros & Rude Girl is Lonely Girl! (pizza pi press) & peluda (Button Poetry), which explores the intersecting narratives of body image, hair removal & Latina identity. Her works have been featured on Buzzfeed, REMEZCLA, Glamour Magazine, Huffington Post, Upworthy, the Guardian, and her mom’s Facebook statuses. She has taught classes with the Blueshift Journal & Strength of Doves. She is currently an MFA candidate at New York University.

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