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December 2020

Still here.

· tarot,collage,The Stay Project,transformation,art

The Raccoon as Harry Styles as The Fool.

The world may have shifted ever so slightly but you still need to fill your cheeks for the winter.

Stay undaunted.

We can't wait to hear all about it over at The Stay Project.

Madeline Baxter

You Will Be Slighted by a Dishonest Man

The tarot card told me

I will be slighted by a dishonest man.

I gaped at my friend—virtually, of course,

she, in her Queens walk up—with her cards, my name

she whispered over them, laying like a film

of dust.

Dishonest?

In his mind and intentions—I first think to my boyfriend

His straight teeth like a set of blank dominos

His well water brown eyes that, like a blanket, make

me feel warm and soothed

when we are looking at each other.

My blinding naivety denies this—I know—this

is not the dishonest man who

will slight me.

There are other options of course:

My father—a bit too cliché, right?

The man who stalked and harassed me

throughout my senior year of college,

a ghost I have laid to rest.

The stallion at my sister’s horse

farm, eyes black like bullets.

He promises to win the next national

championship with his slabs of muscle.

Then, after I cup his check in my left hand

and leave the farm,

he colics and dies the day

after I am there.

On November 7th, I drive my boyfriend

and myself

around—our country just leveraged

a major moment, politically

(I will not name names) and joy

flows out of body pots like coffee.

Around the world, cowbells manifest their destiny, sneakers

are used to jump up high.

There is a dishonest man on the

television who refuses to concede

He slights me, my body,

he slights my black and Muslim friends,

he slights taxpayers and hanging chads,

he slights like pedophilia and narcissism,

he slights his own racist agenda,

he, his card deck full, is shown

a royal flush

by our honest country—

the five of pentacles

and must go.

I await the dishonest man in my

tarot card future.

Maybe it is you, reading

this poem.

I think of the stallion, down dead

before his biggest day,

and how this, is the same,

but more of a preventative vaccine,

a tissue over a huge sneeze.

Maddie Baxter is a 24-year-old poet and writer living in Charlotte, North Carolina. She graduated from Wake Forest University in 2019 with a degree in English and Creative Writing. She does not know how to ride a bike and never will.

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