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Things June Hid Behind by Jennifer Todhunter | Word Riot

May 18, 2015      

Things June Hid Behind by Jennifer Todhunter

Listen to a reading of “Things June Hid Behind” by Jennifer Todhunter.

1. Books. Paperbacks, mostly. A handful of favourites illustrated with refined intricacy, collected since childhood. Some taped back together, others missing covers. Loved and cherished.

2. Makeup. Charcoal eyeliner. Dark lips and pale concealer. On nights when the stool at the bar called like home. A plum smudge on the edge of a martini glass. Dry with a twist. Until, one night, being lonely didn’t exist anymore.

3. Bangs. Blunt and frayed. Thick like a fist. The ends hitting tips of eyelashes dyed black-brown even though mascara runs through a night of tears.

4. Bathroom doors. Cramped stalls in unfamiliar buildings. Toilet paper castles, shredded advertisements promising happiness. Soft, not hard like the rudeness of reality.

5. Sunglasses. Oversized frames. Lenses tinted the colour of soot. Power came with peace and peace came through the beginnings of disguise.

6. Restraining order. A single sheet of paper. Like a lost page from one of the childhood books. Symmetrical type, stamp of authority. Served like the offender’s martini in the bar — straight up.

7. Name. Because paper is weak and fragile. It can be balled up and thrown, kicked or burned. Identity only matters when it doesn’t take hostages.

8. Blazer. Pinstriped. Merino wool, striking at the hip. Used as a shield when indicted. Lost somewhere in the shuffle between the police cruiser and interrogation room.

9. The Fifth Amendment. Love is patient, love is kind.

jentodAbout the author:

Jennifer is a number nerd by day, word fiddler at night who enjoys dark, salty chocolate and running top speed in the other direction after her two children. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in theEEEL, Pidgeonholes, Unbroken, and the Eunoia Review, among others.

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