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One Bed / One Bath

When I stumble across the apartment listing

I feel a pitch. Whoever lived here after us had no plants.

None of our flat-tongued philodendrons, our finicky fiddle-

leaf figs. No tiny cactus like the one we named Timothy,

the one we fretted over, turned soggy with too much water,

and finally killed by stubbing our cigarettes out in his soil.

Same blind white paneling. Same kitchen counter drunk on sunlight.

There, the same black scuffs on the entryway floor

where I dragged a pot of rainwater from the ceiling leak

all the way back to the bathroom, dirty liquid

sloshing drunkenly over the sides. Empty

patch on the wall where that framed charcoal

portrait of us used to gloat. The future flooding in

through a door we accidentally left open.

There, four long scratches on the wall from something

I don’t want to remember. Time a wishbone

bending back on itself. There, the living room

where you practiced your lines for the first and only play

you were ever invited to be in, back when you still

had to concentrate to furrow your brow, back when sorrow

was still something that needed to be practiced.


AMY DeBELLIS is a writer from New York. Her writing has appeared in various publications including Pithead Chapel, Fractured Lit, HAD, Atticus Review, Ghost Parachute, and Pinch. Her debut novel is forthcoming from CLASH Books (Feb 2025). Read more at and follow her on Twitter at @lapis_lazuli11.

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