The Deadline by Julia Lattimer

30 hours since I’ve slept. I don’t expect a change. I’m fine. 3 shots of espresso in. 195 minutes until the deadline. on my way to get coffee I see a skeleton jingling like keys in a breezy window. what about October makes me forget that it is? another shot. I put a journal next to my bed so that I could stop forgetting my dreams but I haven’t dreamt since then I don’t think.

I’m eating chocolate now which I said I wouldn’t do just like I wouldn’t go to sleep without taking my contacts out but I’ve been bad about that too so just this time can I remember to feed my cat tonight?

am I allowed to rub my eyes in public? mascara stamps my blue hands and I know I can’t be safe here. all that separates me and the person next to me is 75 heartbeats per minute and the reasons we chose to sit with our backs to the sun because if this were my room, the blinds would be shut.

an empty dasani bottle has been sitting between my bed and my wall for 9 days and I’ve known it’s there and I’ve made my bed since then but I don’t pick it up. why? not sure.

180 minutes left.

a page in and all the cream out of the éclair but not the shell, probably the shell soon. I think I’m going to get fired soon and then what? look for a new job, pluck my eyebrows, take contacts out at night and write a poem that I picked out and not one that squirmed out. I wrote some words down in my notebook that I want to collect and remember when I’m stuck figuring out what to write. “bloated” and hold on


this pastry puffed up on my plate
bloated with cream
potential energy waiting to be grappled with
a fork wins and I lose and forget to smile

I walked through the broken glass door with my belly button showing and ordered a big éclair and everyone smiled. 190 minutes left.


Julia Lattimer is a poet living somewhere in Virginia. She is the Editor-in-Chief of The Woove and the Poetry Editor for The Silhouette. Her work can be found in print and online, most recently in the Wild Word magazine.



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