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memory slips through crooked fingers,
reaching for seventeen and its promises

we were skinny things
cocaine eyes and cracked lips
sharing cherry gloss between classes

“Thinner is the winner”
we sipped Diet Coke at lunch

a sky-blue cafeteria melting grease and thick laughter
plates of poutine and pizza
a game: how long to eat a pepperoni?
nibble the edge
taste salt on your tongue
ignore the wolf gnawing in your belly

“Thinner is the winner”
we chewed cinnamon gum at night

a bedroom plastered with DiCaprio posters
praying the pangs away
a hundred leg lifts
gets you there
gets you closer to God


image1Julia Teeluck is a Canadian writer of mixed Guyanese heritage. Her poetry has recently appeared in Feels zine’s Anxiety issue and her story “42” about a girl’s longing to fit in at school and escape
responsibilities at home, received first prize in Canvas magazine’s short story contest (Ryerson University,

She explores themes of  identity, belonging, jealousy, and aims to bridge the mystical and real worlds in her
creative works. She also seeks to understand the shadow self and delves into darker matters such as eating
disorders, suicide, depression and addiction in her poetry and prose. 

Julia is a former reader at PRISM international and a recent graduate of UBC’s Creative Writing MFA Program. 

18_1coverThis poem was originally published in Vallum issue 18:1 Invisibility.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE! Visit our website for details.