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by Melissa Dias-Mandoly



Two grey pigeons fight

outside the courthouse

while a white one watches


A skyrat strangles another

right off the window ledge

and the onlooker stays cornered


But beak dives rewind:

both birds reappear

with glimmering fat throats



I haven’t made eye contact with anyone


Sometimes I get sick

from not knowing


Every two hours a man

says just a few more minutes

so I empty myself

again in the sink


Jury service is both an obligation and a privilege.

Your fellow citizens need your assistance.

Most individuals who have served on a jury

find it to be an informative and rewarding experience.


The plaintiff looks like a scumbag

which is to say he is a white man

in a pressed suit which

is what the lawyers look like

and also the judge


In an Apple store, Sean Spicer

tells a rowdy brown woman

such a great country

that allows you

to be here


The punishment

for not appearing

in court is a $1,000 fine

and up to three days in jail


Last night my love

ironed my shirt, drove me

around the block, showed me

a parking garage so the marbled maze

would be familiar

which helped


I can’t remember the last time

anything helped


Bird metaphors don’t help

I just have little else in me

for anyone that can afford a lawyer

or a suit


Stunted wobbling

snow fowl stuck

watching men fuck with each other

while I play dress up

in citizen clothes


Melissa Dias-Mandoly lives in Pittsburgh with her cat, Catrick Bateman. Her work has been featured in Gesture, Hot Metal Bridge, grlhood, PANK, Storm Cellar, and more. She works as an editor and designer for the University of Pittsburgh Press.

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