Selections of Poetry by S. L. Wilhoit

Sammie Lee Wilhoit moved across the country from California to go to college in Vermont. Sammie writes poetry to pinpoint feelings that she does not have words for and writes out memories and fantasies that keep her up at night. Her work was previously featured in IP (Volume 5 Issue 2).


You walk across the courtyard
towards me
and I blush in awareness
because no one at my college
dresses like you

You, in standard frat boy attire:
cargo shorts in a red clay shade
short-sleeved light blue button up
with a white print
hair spraying backwards from your
scalp like a wave

They make boys like you
in California, but here,
Vermont has never seen one
until they saw you

The younger guys
quickly shut the door
kiss with full mouth
And probing tongue

You sit on the couch
read Gatwood’s poetry
as I make a sandwich
tell me to take my time before
we walk into my bedroom
close the door
sit on the bed
and talk
next, we smile
turn away
lean into each other
with small soft mouths
brushing tenderly against
each other
slowly opening up
holding each other

Kissing open mouthed as I
undo the many buttons to find
your skin as sunkissed as
your arms and

I slowly pull on your lip
with my teeth and soon
I am in your lap
and we are
breathing and sighing
until my breath can’t
be found and I
jump off the bed,
grab my purple Hydroflask
and take cold, relaxing swigs
all the while, you repeat
“take your time”
in a soothing, lazy voice

I return and we kiss and
move, I take off my shirt
and you say I
wasn’t lying when I said my
boobs are amazing
with that,
I take off my bra
and you hold and kiss
and suck
appreciating how full and round
and perky
my breasts are

And sure, we had some stumbles:
when you stood next to the bed
and pressed your body against me
until my mattress pad slid
towards you and took me near
the ground

How you tried to press your boxer-wearing
body against my naked one and
I instinctively pushed you and
then, seeing you start towards the
laminate, caught you and pulled
you back onto the bed

But none of that matters because
your tongue and fingers
know the notes to make a
girl cry out

The younger guys before were
as sloppy with that as they were with

But not you

You had more experience

I don’t mind you
kissing and above me
as you thrust against

My alarm interrupts us
and soon it is a
chaos of us throwing back
on underwear, shorts, and shirts
then kissing and holding
hands as I walk you to the door


Meghan is cherry Sprite
and Sour Patch Kids
is legal weed and soft mouth

Meghan is holding hands
and staring at screens
driving slow while high

Meghan is talking about
marriage and kids
on our first date

Meghan is staying
in a warm car to talk
and talk; to sit on the trunk

Meghan is curly hair
and blue eyes
is sunglasses indoors

Meghan is soft pretzels
with nacho sauce that is
inferior to her standards

Meghan is a big case of CDs
is my angsty favorite band
is “fuck you” and “love you” simultaneously

cigarettes seem good

we stand in a circle
on the curb
passing around
cigarettes and a
vape pen

cigarettes smell
and look like
sparklers against
the night

tempting to put
between my lips
until i think of
black lungs and
oxygen tanks

but here we are
—them living out reckless
lives in community—
and me
watching the
fire glow and
the smoke
with a detached sense
of awe

From the Editor:

We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.

Founded in late 2011, In Parentheses prides itself upon analysis of the current condition of intelligence in the minds of these young people, and building a hypothesis for one looming question: what comes after Post-Modernism?

The idea for this magazine stems from a simple conversation regarding the aforementioned question, which drew out the need to identify our generation’s place in literary history.

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In Parentheses Magazine (Volume 7, Issue 3) Winter 2022

By In Parentheses in IP Volume 7

32 pages, published 1/15/2022

The Winter 2022 issue of In Parentheses Literary Magazine. Published by In Parentheses (Volume 7, Issue32)

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