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Lara Egger

Respice Finem

Birds again, the low battery of their smoke detectors announcing luck’s a day or two or a week at most from running out of cash. My strategy is two parts optimism to one part hammer, a monogrammed silver urn on the mantle, just in case. Night’s history is full of asterisks. The moon’s casualties float down the river into unmarked graves. Repeat after me: the present is a mantra blowing its prophecy into a brown paper bag. I know the odds are casino. Every fifteen minutes love and dread alternate pumping blood to the heart. The minute I touched you my senses learned how to lose you. The way a bird might imitate a distant mate. Or a nearing predator. Or a fire alarm.

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Lara Egger's debut collection of poems, How to Love Everyone and Almost Get Away with It, won the Juniper First Book prize and is forthcoming in 2021 from the University of Massachusetts Press. Her poems have appeared in Verse Daily, Ninth Letter, New Ohio Review, Washington Square Review, Lake Effect, The Laurel Review and elsewhere. An Australian native, Egger now lives in Boston where she co-owns a Spanish tapas bar. She holds an MFA from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.

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