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Alyssa Gaul Apr 2020
I can tell by the way the paper smells,
like day-old rain, wet earth, the dank
aroma of the window box soil stuck
to the edges and in-between the dulled ink,
and if I was there, I know my eyes
would be tearing up by now,
itchy and pink like a newborn,
leaking softy—a garden hose that
sprung a hole— without much worry
for the powder that was applied
just before, which is not unlike
how you kissed me the first time,
without much worry about my lip-
stick staining your lips; after, you looked
as if you’d been bobbing for apples
in a bowl of strawberry jam, and
when I laughed at you, you said,
“It’s springtime, baby”.
Alyssa Gaul Apr 2020
Spring feels like dying this time.
I usually feel like withering,
but because of the allergies.
People used to be able to laugh
at my sneezes; now they feel like
quick triggers. How do I know which
it is? My phone says it’s a Friday.
The calendar says it’s April.
I know it’s both, but it feels like neither

because spring feels like dying this time.
When I go outside I can relax for a little
in the warmth, but I know it’s a false feeling—
that nature is living. No one I know is really
living, but the mosquitos don’t care.
I go from bed to table to bed again,
wearing the same clothes; it feels maybe
like being mummified. I know I’m in a
tomb, with the same walls haunting me,

and spring feels like dying this time.
Not even the loose sunlight pooling
in from the window can draw me out
from my blanket-cave where the screen
light burns fleeting images into my retinas.
I let myself lie there until the hours fade,
like everything’s just one big dream,
another reality where my body is nothing
but goo. It helps me to forget the truth,

that spring feels like dying this time.
Alyssa Gaul Nov 2019
I rear my God-chompers like nunchucks,
there to swing back at men devils
who pronounce holiness. I bite the tips
off their waxy hair beds.

I see evil everywhere I look.
Luminescent atrocities whisper suggestions,
point fingers at the hypocrites;
I return with raging atheist responses.

And as I go to do my feeding,
I wish I believed in Hellfire.
Alyssa Gaul Oct 2019
I hug my mother most in the kitchen.
She reaches up to wrap her arms
around me, and I lay my head
on her shoulder. We breathe
together, relax into one another.
The oak wood under our feet creaks
with each shift of weight. The kitchen is

warm like her. Though that dead plant sits
in the window, we are full of life.
My mother’s fake green grapes and strands of
ivy weave above our heads;
our own personal jungle.
The red-brown cabinets and
bright yellow lights
shine down around us as we sway,
rubbing each others’ backs with a soft hum.

We fit together: mother, daughter.
Since childhood I have not been afraid
to run to her soft speckled skin and be held
by her, even when I was tall
enough to do the holding myself.
We have the same nose,
same smile,
same droop to our right eye.
Same tendency to accidents
like knife cuts
or oven burns
or trips over nothing.
Who am I
but a part of her?

My sister pads into the kitchen
on tiptoes— a habit she could never break
since a child. I see her quiet eyes
flicker downward,
see her scoot herself away from
my mother’s arms
see her close into herself
instead. She stares at the dead plant.

If her skin were a costume, she would
tear it off and never wear it again.
Instead of my mother’s nose,
she thinks she sees
my father’s stubble.
Not my mother’s dimpled smile
reflected back, but my
father’s Adam’s apple.
When we tell her she is
beautiful, she fiddles with her men-sized shoes.
We cannot convince her to
touch us when she is afraid to touch

We fit together: mother, daughter, daughter.
We sit at the island counter, playing
MarioKart on the kitchen TV,
talking about nothing really,
but to my sister it is
Our mother laughs like bells.
Who are we
but a part of her?
Alyssa Gaul May 2019
he has consumed me
every inch of my body has been ****** in
to a funnel of death vapor
like smoky remains of a battlefield
our non-stop duet
of push here and choke there
all the air has escaped me
been ****** out in an instant
leaving me gasping
the sear of your touch left me with scars
like iron-burned flesh
you feasted on my grief
a too-proud arsonist
with loud words and strong hands
closing in on my throat
why fling me against the wall
when you have already impaled me on the knife?

the observers never lend a hand
they never say that they see
their eyes flicker away as quick as they land
this is just between us
me and you
no one is my savior besides myself
hook me with your barbs
they won’t come
crush me with your feet
they won’t come
tear in me down to bone
they never come

and i wonder
who was the sun in your atmosphere?
it wasn't me
but you were mine
when you were mine
you scorched my earth
i got too close to you
and like hell, it burned
it was passionate
but not romantic
but not joyful

i watched you over my shoulder
one look and you caught me
glued to the scene
a crash waiting to happen
you never let me pull away
so we were pulled down together
down, down
the deep pit of darkness
endless like black pitch
with only death awaiting
and piles of ****** ashes
the game never stops
just like i thought you’d never stop
and the smoke stinging my eyes
clouding my vision
would never stop
but it did, didn’t it
because i stopped falling for it

enough with reflections
i'm not water
water cannot save me now
it's too late
instead i will stand tall
rear my shameful eyes
and broken body
up to giant size
and face you with a power
you never saw coming.
Alyssa Gaul Feb 2019
I am a collection
of half-watched movies

End yet to-be-determined
Stuck in the middle bits

An unfinished  biography
of a life put on-pause

The characters have no future
Just like I have no future

My library remains full
An over-whelming archive

When will the master
finish the piece?

The follow through
is the most important part

The neurotic longs to discover
the treasure at the end of it all

Though sometimes the final destination
is only death or tragedy

Only pain and no closure
And nothing meaning anything

And maybe the movies are
half-finished because

I already know
I'll be disappointed in the ending.
Alyssa Gaul Jan 2019
Lips gummy and dull
as they part
If sound comes out
you are the only one hears it
Back arched forward
as if it is not enough to be tall
You must loom over
Close to others
but still above
Thick sweet smell-
that cologne no one likes
just because you wear it,
and have worn it out
Room of only one-
two including you-
and yet
Beady eyes gaze pointedly
around the space
An imaginary audience
must hold on to every word
Scene not new
So you say,
you've said a thousand times
The room learns to place it
as background noise
Do you know no one listens?
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