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Alina Martel Jun 12
As time dilates and the tempo
of my little bird heart slows,

I recover pieces of self,
cast like felt petals on the way,

doubling back with a bug-catcher's
glass, counting the legs of my days

outgrown. I capture my child-like
wonder on a twig. I spy curiosity

on a leaf, speckled with holes
bored by time that rushes

like a stream with no regard
for the riverbed it erodes.

I step into myself like old clothes
and remember what it feels like

to be – existing for the sake
of existing. Where life is treasure

Alina Martel Mar 24
I catch myself wondering
if all this quiet chaos
will resolve —
a black hole collapsing,
internal and unseen.

Or will the nebulae
of bursting into being
extend beyond the edges
of who I am and was?
Will they see me give up

on giving up?
I've been led to believe
that new beginnings like these
happen in an instant —
a distant flicker on cosmic rings.

But what if my future,
much like anything
worth seeing through,
devours an abundance
of time? What if

I must surrender
years of light and breath and
atoms to outrun
the galactic hunger
of my unrepenting mind?
Alina Martel Feb 18
Love is in the details, the way
you ask me softly on that quiet,
charcoal couch if I need you

to press the web of flesh between
my finger and my thumb to ease
the pounding in my head:

Pressure for pressure.
It’s the way you say
I’ll be okay before I tell you

that I’m not. The way you know
I need to hear the things I don’t
believe. The way you see me

broken and beautiful —
a duality, not
a mutual exclusion. I don’t

know what to make
of us, but
it feels safe here. So I’ll stay

under nebulous terms,
until I burn your open heart.
I don't know why

I cannot hold affection
without tearing
my closest friends apart.
Alina Martel Jan 17
Don’t forget me:
I was terror,
but beauty, too.
Alina Martel Jan 8
I wonder: how much
of my soul — that red-hot,

incandescent soul —


on the brink
of extinction?
Alina Martel Nov 2022
What a challenge to discern
between different shades of love,
bundled vessels
beneath the surgeon’s gaze.

Am I enamored, or simply
safe within the confines
of your presence? Electricity —
or a grounded, warm affection?

Why must I cut us open so?
What about our coexistence
befits a keen dissection?
I cannot paint us faithfully

on canvas, gauze, or paper;
I remain chromatically confused.
I pray you do not take
uncertainty for misdirection —

I’ve naught but
colorful abstraction
with which to leave
our hearts perfused.
Alina Martel Aug 2022
I’d like to think the forest and I
have something in common:
a quiet comfort to imagine
my veins as xylem and phloem,
vernal vasculature
full of sugar and elegance.

I’d like to be autotrophic,
in a way—a provider.
Sustainable, substantial, life-giving.
Imagine it: the world thrumming
about your roots, communication
with the soil, nitrogenous and softly damp.

I don’t know about you,
but I find peace
in my potential for symbiosis.
I can close my eyes around it
comfortably, breathing in the knowledge
that my exhales sustain trees.
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