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Bad Habits by Kara Goughnour

When my bad habits catch up with me,

there will be lovers giving each other their first kiss

at the highest tip of a Ferris Wheel

and it will be both original and unoriginal

and it won’t matter at all.

When my bad habits catch up with me,

there will be young men with afros

like soap froth rapping on their work breaks.

There will be women in the subway’s caverns, hands woven

around violin bows like the stop-request pull-lines of a bus

we all know is speeding to hell. There will be

children throwing rocks at the windows of a library

because to a child everything is free, and therefore

nothing truly is. When my bad habits catch up

with me, I’ll be straddling the train tracks,

taking the shit that life did not give for me,

that it didn’t and doesn’t give for any artistic soul.

When my bad habits catch up with me,

inscribe on my gravestone, She never stopped

creating, and what did it mean, really?

Kara Goughnour is a queer writer and documentarian living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative and Professional Writing from The University of Pittsburgh. She is the recipient of the 2018 Gerald Stern Poetry Award, and has work published or forthcoming in Third Point Press, The Southampton Review, and over twenty others. She can be found on Twitter @kara_goughnour and her collected and exclusive works can be found at

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