cul-de-sac gives birth to an album called by Amanda Pendley

“why am I growing out of myself” and the opening song
is a gunshot wound that never closes up and inside

exists a portal to thirteen where the slashed arm
still bleeds black, drips until tar becomes speed bump

but we have already tripped over the casualties of
growing up too fast and there are no longer picnics on

the pavement and soda spilled on ant ridden cement
and there is no longer a swing to jump off of

it has become the noose holding us together

and there is no longer anything left to slide into
that won’t make you regret the trip

and our picket fences are now picket signs
and broken bottles microphones

and somehow there is everything left to fight for
but nothing soft enough to speak of when we ease

into front porch air in the morning and the heat
is no longer congested, just looking for reparations

and the kids are not home to sing the chorus

they have either ran away or been taken screaming
which is not a comparison of trauma, only agency

we were the kids who stayed out past dark
who would wrestle under the streetlamps before

we learned to love in the light & on the nights
when electricity went out and bulbs skewered

and went to sleep, we wouldn’t play hide and seek
so much as come find me and I still haven’t stopped looking

you crawled into some other definition of the word home

turned body into house and locked all of the doors,
sealed the windows shut, soundproof

and there was nothing we could do except cry in
the street and hoped you could hear us sing

albums often end with a fizzle into silence,
some save empty seconds to honor their dead

cul-de-sac gave birth to an album called
“these familiar fears” and the seconds

have turned to hours, to weeks, to undying years


Amanda Pendley is a twenty-year-old writer from Kansas City who is currently studying Creative Writing and Publishing at the University of Iowa. She is currently Editor-in-Chief of Ink Lit Mag, Copyeditor at Haloscope Magazine, and a Staff Writer at The Honey Mag. Her recent and forthcoming publications include Savant Garde Literary Magazine, Storm of Blue Press, Ghost City Review, and Dream Noir Literary Journal. You can find her on social media under the username amandacpendley.

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, poetry, and creative nonfiction from marginalized creators.