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Vanessa Batyko

Vanessa Batyko is a poet from Los Angeles. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern California, where she received the 2018 Beau J. Boudreaux Poetry Award and the Jimmy Gauntt Memorial Award. If you live in LA, she might be your next Uber driver. Her work has most recently been published in Gravel and Semantics Magazine.

Attachment’s not grown out of 

but transferred to things more certain: Bible  

journaling & cough drops, 3 rings  

you even shower in. I know a man who sucks  

his thumb at 30, says he wants to be held  

the way people hold money. We watch  


Elimidate & Star Search, reality TV  

from before I was born. I know a woman  

who yells when you stare at her tattoos too long.


I’m known for toting around a small  

orange horse when all I want is to hold  

mom’s big department store hand.  


I wish grandpa had a Facebook  

so I could stalk him like an ex, poke  

him even though he’s gone. I’m tired  


of naming my life’s items after people  

who’ve died then tossing them in my purse  

for later. I’m wearing my  


moles so as not to lose them, but  

if you find them, please treat them right.  

Never take them home the back way,  


never buy them shots of Sazerac Rye  

& clutch their dizzied heads, saying, 

I’m like an old piano— you can’t get rid of me.  

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