Author: Rachel Hyman & Dakota Parobek

Rachel Hyman is the co-editor of Banango Street and founding editor of Anthology of Chicago. She is the author of Dear S, forthcoming from Big Lucks in 2015. Other writing has recently been published in Illuminati Girl Gang, The Scrambler, and VECTOR. She lives in Chicago and can be found at          
Kickflip McTwist (Dakota Parobek) is a Chicago based writer and musician. They are currently an Ensemble Playwright with Mercy Street Theatre and an Associate Artist with Transcendent Theatre Company.


I brought a huge bottle
of bleach back from Detroit
to my parents’ house. I didn’t
know what to do with it. I was scared
to throw it out. Here, take this.
Hold a hole-puncher up to my ear.
The wild twinge of whispered
thank yous. Writing ‘im sorry’
on top of ‘thank you’.
This is my overlapping alphabet.
Like turning your head at
the sound of yr old name. It’s
okay, I don’t understand me.
tap to edit


Your mother
is in the witness
protection program. Scribble
all over the sky with
orange highlighter. Nitro-
glycerin my knife. Uhh, I
checked out this dude’s Facebook page,
and I can’t be positive,
but I’m pretty sure
he’s an asshole.
That feel when
you get defended.
That feel when you miss the straw
& it slides along yr lip
So u cover yrself w/ gas
And light yrself on fire.
Knife knife knife
That feel when you
Brush yr teeth the wrong way.
When you are only
Half kidding.
When ‘you know
That I’m kidding,
The dirt is
Growling at
my hair now yours.
This is the part where
we become
the government.