detract the poison from my center and i
am just a violet. the purple
that pukes up excuses and salamander slime.
i was always told that i was nothing but a beautiful bruise, an
aurora borealis of burst blood vessels.
but i guess it’s not like this is new.
the winter always comes and purchases all
birdsong. the air gets dry and crunch.
and i have always been reaching and small, petals
poking at wounds and begging for attention—
listen: my voice can’t say what it needs to say,
and if my eyes cloud over and curdle it’s because i
have been uprooted, the sludge
of my sin, shadow, leaking out of my stem.
alyssa hanna graduated from Purchase College in 2016 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in History. She was nominated for a 2017 Pushcart Prize and was a finalist in the 2017 James Wright Poetry Competition. She lives in Westchester with her special needs lizards. Follow her @alyssawaking on twitter, instagram, ko-fi, and patreon.