Spelling Bee Poem
turpitude / teratology / credo
First round: Synonym for depravity. Synonym for futility
of the spine, how it tries to hold the body up. Synonym
for a back against bricks, wiry boy-fingers circling a
small wrist, synonym for all that lives in me is shameful.
I'm stalling, asking for a language of origin, some river
valley to latch onto. The footing never takes. I place eighth.
Next year: The study of monsters, more specifically,
the monstrous. Everyone knows -ology, it's the rest that
evades. So I study them, mark their territory. Does my brain's
hidden camera count as cheating? Never trust the girl
with lenses for eyes. Who is monster here? Click. Beware
the type of tiny girl who knows more than she deserves.
Final chance: How to formulate belief in a land so devoid?
I am still trying, pacing the prize table, loser's paradise. Watch
me weigh my options, land first on honey-pot cookie jar, bypass
for a gift card. What a busy bee, later I'll know better. Have we
met? I study monsters, depravity. Belief is hard to come by.
I only miss the words I haven't seen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CADE LEEBRON is a writer living in Columbus, Ohio. She holds an MFA from Ohio State, where she served as an editor at The Journal. Currently she podcasts at The Cold Take and serves as managing editor at Us For President. Her work has appeared in Brevity, Electric Literature, Rattle, and elsewhere. Find her online at www.mslifeisbestlife.com, or on Twitter @CadeyLadey.