Rejection Letters


Your joke hums and I can’t
unhear it. As if you weren’t
frequenting motels where the head
designers kerneled their ceilings
for you and other fuckers. I bang
my fist against the wall I offered
to you and your lovers and hope
I swallow some sleep. I don’t tell Sarah
because I don’t want to feel complicit. Like
I didn’t give you a key to my flat after
a close call off I-69. Like I don’t ask you
to send a 👟 when you’re dining on
full breasted, bone-in, chickens.
Like my apartment isn’t some high-
way motel you visit to freely cream
cheese bagels from the morning spread
at the buffet. When your wife begins
to question, you groan Iam training
for the marathon! That you text me
sneakers so I know it’s time to go.
It’s funny how in college, when we
were roommates, I took to calling you
Roadrunner, logging miles before sunrise.
Before Philly, before Sarah, before I am best
man at your wedding. Before you hired out head
boards and caulked notches onto walls in the after-
shocks. Before your moans grew too
much like footsteps, pounding into loose as-
phalt, all wet and willing and forgettable.


Madeleine Corley (she/her) is a writer by internal monologue. She currently serves as Poetry Editor at Barren Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @madelinksi or


image: Lindsay Hargrave

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