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Our Brevity

by Hayley Brooks


might have

been my failure —

my projection of expectations,

hope unwieldy, letting

joy run beyond the moment.

she was my first and I was

her interim.


she calculated her leave, I think,

while the bliss of being desired

crowded my body. no one wanted

me before this.


I wanted to be able to throw bon-bons

at the TV while I wept, something in

the milieu to hold my devastation

but the TV wouldn't turn on.

Hayley Brooks (she/her) is an archives professional based in Philadelphia, PA. She is passionate about lesbian and LGBTQ history, fascinated by cults, and a life-long writer. Her work focuses on trauma, healing and embodied experiences. Find her at @hayleyj.brooks on Instagram and

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