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The Stars


By Monica Fuglei

A tarantula preparing to shed its skin

will not eat for days before, in preparation. 


I cannot help the familiarity – 

before you were born I did not eat for hours, 

I remember my own prickly nest, 

the hours of swelling, shrinking,

cracking; stepping out to watch

the old shell of me sweep away. 


I know the fragility of growth, 

a softness emerged from shed armor. 


After you were born, I dreamed for weeks 

that it never happened, 

or that it always happened, 

people around me growing and shedding, 

the nests they built around themselves, 

their helplessness in these moments, 

how deeply even the right things could cut 

at the wrong time. 

Monica Fuglei currently teaches in the Department of Composition, Creative Writing and Journalism at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado. A 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has recently appeared in Progenitor and Mason Street. When she’s not writing or teaching, she’s usually knitting or tweeting on #AcademicTwitter.  

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