Allen at 25


Your blood was laced
with poetry
though you rarely admitted it.

From time to time, you’d open
a vein
letters spilling all over the page

where you longed to be free.

You broke loose one day
preserving your verse
on a thick scroll of black cord.

Allen, was your heart pumping
against bone against flesh?

Were you trying to revise, re-write,
re-make yourself?
Noosing those words around your neck,

were you daring the lines
to catch you
seconds before you would have

hit the bathroom floor?

Alyssa Yankwitt