Angelica Whitehorne

Terms and Conditions

          Of course, you are allowed to suffer,
                            but only with a glamorous tint,
          beauty filter, digital hyaluronic acid,
tears cartoonish and cerulean blue, little diamond in the center.
          You are allowed to suffer, but only sardonically—
as gorgeous satire; miserable in a midriff baby tee and an iced super-chain coffee
          in hand, phone self-directed in the other. You are allowed to suffer but only if we get
                   an uplifting message at the end—something
to keep us going. As long as there is a character arc and emojis, or as long as you sell us a cure
     to fix this: this empty, this categorical infiltration of everything and the nothingness it brings.
                   A balm or a butt mask or an online behavior analysis quiz or a pilates session or
a new brand of politics or gluten-free, dairy-free, pesticide-free protein bars.
                                     Please, please, you’re our only source of hope, our cheapest,
          most time-expensive supply of dopamine, we are addicts, begging you to never
                                                       leave, never age, never undress your made-up best,
          and please save us with the ten-minute tour of your latest rented Bali bungalow, 
                            your infinity pool, your golden tan, and your newest white ink tattoo, 
                   and your balayage bangs, and your protein bars, those fucking
          protein bars—get your first batch free by typing my name…, your name, yours, you.
                            We don’t want the bars. Let us purchase you, let us print
          you off the grid, and hang you behind our eyes for the harshest nights. Sure—
                            you are allowed to suffer, we all do; but you, only under spotlight, 
          only if you pout your lower lip while you do it, 
                                     only if you rise again like an newly
                                                       watered, under-watered 
                                              peace lily: quickly and more glossy than before.

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Angelica Whitehorne is a writer living in Durham, NC with published / forthcoming work in Rattle, Fourteen Hills, Meetinghouse Magazine, JMWW, and Poetry South, among others. She is the author of the chapbook, The World Is Ending, Say Something That Will Last (Bottle Cap Press, 2022). Besides being a devastated poet, Angelica is a Marketing Content Writer for a clean energy loan company. You can find more of her work on Instagram at a.w.ords and on her website: