Cord Moreski: “Understudy”

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Understudy 

Margery always loved theater.
In fact, she was an understudy
at the local playhouse on Clark Street.
From time to time, she’d fill in
as Kim MacAfee from Bye Bye Birdie,
or Sophie Sheridan from Mama Mia,
Dr. Frank-N-Furter from The Rocky Horror
Picture Show, or the several other parts
she played for whenever she got the call.

At home, it was a different situation.
From day to day, she’d fill in
as the provider of the house by working
extra shifts waitressing after her mother
got lung cancer, and the keeper for her
five-year-old brother, Cade, who had
just learned how to write the alphabet
in his kindergarten class, the protagonist
to her drunk father who appeared
at her front door each night
despite his restraining order,
and the several other parts she mastered
at the ripe old age of twenty.

She always dreamed of some big break
that would get her out of this town
and into the lights and life of Manhattan.
But one day the cancer closed the curtain
on her mother, so Margery left
the understudy life behind
to take on a more permanent role.

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About the Author: Cord Moreski is a writer from New Jersey. His work has been previously featured in Silver Birch Press, The Pangolin Review, Philosophical Idiot, The Rye Whiskey Review, In Between Hangovers, and several other publications. He is the author of the chapbook Shaking Hands with Time (Indigent Press, 2018) and is currently working on a new project for 2020. You can follow Cord here: https://www.cordmoreski.com

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More by Cord Moreski: 

Aubrie

Someday

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Image Credit: Frances Benjamin Johnson “Dock Street Theatre, Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina” (1936) The Library of Congress

Cord Moreski: “Someday”

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Someday  

Someday, I hope this poem finds you—
clocking out of a dead-end job,
or during a television commercial
when you’re slouched on the sofa,
between sips of burnt coffee
at the diner when you’re feeling lonely,
or after gazing at the stars outside
your bedroom window because something
keeps you from falling asleep at night—
to let you know that it’d be nice
for you to finish that manuscript
kept hostage in your desk drawer
after all these years, to paint that canvas
cooped up in your attic collecting time,
to take that road trip you swore
would save your life, to find that smile
that used to appear naturally
before it had to be forced.
Wherever you are. Whatever it was.
Someday, I hope this poem finds you.

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About the Author: Cord Moreski is a writer from New Jersey. His work has been previously featured in Silver Birch Press, The Pangolin Review, Philosophical Idiot, The Rye Whiskey Review, In Between Hangovers, and several other publications. He is the author of the chapbook Shaking Hands with Time (Indigent Press, 2018) and is currently working on a new project for 2020. You can follow Cord here: https://www.cordmoreski.com

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More By Cord Moreski:

Aubrie

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Image Credit:

Digital Photo by Chase Dimock

“Aubrie” By Cord Moreski

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Aubrie
for Andrew Moreski  

My parents had just killed their bedroom lights
when I decided to sit on the porch after supper
listening to Let It Be by The Replacements
and sipping on Fat Tire in a broken beach chair.
It was September and all that was left
in this shore town were locals
and the subtle hints of autumn in the ocean air.
That was when my little brother Andy came out
of the house and introduced me to Aubrie.

He told me as he took a seat that he met her
when he was six years old. Andy snuck
into our older sister’s bedroom
and saw Aubrie’s reflection in posters
of Ginger Spice and Belinda Carlisle,
in palettes of eye shadow and lipstick,
and in the array of powder brushes and bags
scattered like treasure along our sister’s vanity.

They continued to talk in high school.
He wrote love poems for her
during eighth-period composition class
repeating the mantra LOVE HAS NO IDENTITY!  

Then they moved to Astoria together
after college. She told him to grow his hair
past his ears and down his shoulders
to drown out the sound of gossip
that would be about him, to paint
his fingernails blacker than the looks
he would receive, to wear
his thrift store dresses and stilettos
better than any woman he would ever know.

“One day,” Andy told me as we clinked
our beers together, “I’m going to introduce her
to Mom and Dad. But that’s whenever she’s ready.”


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About the Author: Cord Moreski is a writer from New Jersey. His work has been previously featured in Silver Birch Press, The Pangolin Review, Philosophical Idiot, The Rye Whiskey Review, In Between Hangovers, and several other publications. He is the author of the chapbook Shaking Hands with Time (Indigent Press, 2018) and is currently working on his first full length (2020). You can follow Cord here: https://www.cordmoreski.com

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Image Credit: Heinrich Kühn “Brother and Sister” (1906) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.