my mother lets her hair grow gray after six years of not drinking and seven in therapy -Allegra Lisa

yesterday, a man needled blue

into me and told me he was two years sober.


i think of mom

and the way her knuckles almost break


skin; of her nine children and the infertile

twin she named me after.


at night, she sits on the glass

bench in her backyard and tells me she’s alone


in a big house. i haven’t been home

in ten months. i haven’t slept


in her bed and checked the locks

on her doors. i know she’s still swallowing


leftover corks and years lost

to screaming babies and brown hair dye.


i know that i’m going to be the one to speak

this little girl into existence.

Allegra Lisa is a 22-year-old poet attending Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Her work can be found in the upcoming issue four of Exhume Journal, the first issue of Ember Chasm Review, the 2019 issue of Yo-New York!, the anthology The Anatomy of Desire published in December of 2018 in The Poetry Annals, the first issue of What are Birds Journal, and the 2017 spring issue of The Stockholm Review of Literature. One of her poems was nominated for a pushcart prize.

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