From Pretend I Am Real

by Leigh Chadwick


Leigh Chadwick reaches into her chest and finds her heart swollen. She reaches below her abdomen and finds the loneliest parts of her a peach. Leigh Chadwick has stopped counting in weeks, minutes, voices sent through the mail. She keeps an Out of Order sign over her heart whenever she walks through the produce aisle at Publix. Leigh Chadwick makes herself a cardigan even the moths ignore. She never has to pay for drugs when she flirts with the busser at Olive Garden. Leigh Chadwick knows that if you drive one way for too long you will eventually drown.




Leigh Chadwick is the author of the chapbook, Daughters of the State (Bottlecap Press, 2021), and the poetry coloring book, This Is How We Learn How to Pray (ELJ Editions, 2021). Wound Channels, her full-length poetry collection, and Pretend I Am Real, a novel written in vignettes, will be simultaneously released by ELJ Editions in February of 2022. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in SalamanderHeavy Feather ReviewIndianapolis Review, and Milk Candy Review, among others. Find her on Twitter at @LeighChadwick5.