Because We Never by Emily Geminder


“Because We Never” by Emily Geminder


never in cars   never on a dare   never in the back room of 

somebody’s basement   never playing never have I ever    

never once   except once   because I didn’t think it was so 

bad   but they said it was bad   because those sluts   they 

would know   


those sluts meaning had sex   meaning car riding   glitter 

jeweled   meaning nelly was cool   hot in herre looping all 

summer on the radio   because they said really it was bad   

because we all sang along   because now I was a slut too   

so take off all your clothes     


because a year before it happened   the thing that could 

never happen   because a year before it happened there 

was that girl in our town   there were the five guys   one 

from our school   whispers they held her down   because I 

thought it wasn’t the worst thing that could happen   not 

like you’d die   because you wouldn’t die if it happened   

dark wouldn’t come crashing down   never once would 

you die if it happened    


because it could never happen   not to me   and because if 

it did   because it never would   but if it did   I wouldn’t 

die   because we weren’t dying   weren’t unpacked from 

our skin   weren’t dreaming our deaths like little puffs of 

smoke   not never   not once   because we weren’t dying   

weren’t floating up above our bodies   weren’t scattering 

our light like ashes



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Emily Geminder Artist Statement:

Emily Geminder’s short stories, poems, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in
AGNI, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, American Short Fiction, Kenyon Review
Online, Mississippi Review, Tin House Open Bar, Witness, and elsewhere. She is the
recipient of an AWP Intro Journals Award, a Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award,
and a fellowship award from the Vermont Studio Center. Previously, she worked as a
journalist in New York and Cambodia.


Author: A Room of Her Own

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