Poetry: good luck charm by Dane Lyn

good luck charm


as a small child I had a white-


stuffed unicorn,

(with the clever name of Uni)

I imagined her a good luck charm of sorts,

she and I formed a

telepathic link,

so she could help me face the

scary things.


later when,

what started as a joke,

soon made me the joke

and the cruel words of seventh graders

broke the

          extrasensory connection,

self preservation had me memorizing

the ins

and outs

     and arounds,

had me developing

                      a circuitous path through Sequoia Jr. High,

     predicting and avoiding

the bad kids

the kids who

did the most egregious of the name calling

these routes were now my protection


rituals replaced good luck charms, turn this corner twice, drink 12 sips of water from the coldest fountain, click pen twice in a row before each line of a quiz, snap soundlessly with both hands, pull bra strap straighter, it could always be straighter, run right hand through hair until wrist hurts, move papers into right angle with desk, move desk into right angle with room, straighten papers, straighten papers, straighten papers, sort candy by color, sort books by color, sort dishes by color, rainbow order always, crack wrists, close the cabinet drawers, double check that they are closed, check one more time, push tongue twice between gap in teeth before speaking in public, swallow three times before sleep


who needs luck, when you have ocd?

Dane Lyn (they/them) is a nuerodivergent, genderqueer, disabled, educator, poet, and glitter enthusiast with an MFA from Lindenwood University. Find them in L.A. with their partner, constructing blanket forts, caring for their menagerie of teens, snakes, lizards, dogs, rabbits, and cats, and ridding their shoes of beach sand. Dane’s work can be seen in Quillkeepers, Gnashing Teeth, Gutslut, and Imposter.