this place is a fragile thing; break
a twig and a bone snaps, too loud
for this forest. you can only speak
when it rains, but just some
small, breathy words;
these old trees won’t keep
our secrets, at least the ones worth
telling. and the times i do talk,
release the noises that sleep
so fitfully in my throat, some beast
comes down to the river, and i feel my figure
fading to buzz.
i demand a downpour. master of wet
earth and mud puddles, spreading legs out
like sickness. the rain will quench hunger,
thirst, the starving for a red mass
still pumping, but i cannot drown here.
the sky obeys me, land-bound and brown
speck of dust over a field of crunched
corpses; you can soar all you like
but in the end, lightning will always hit
what’s highest. you think the rains will never come.
they will come.
alyssa hanna graduated from Purchase College in 2016. Her poems have appeared or are upcoming in Reed Magazine, The Naugatuck River Review, Rust + Moth, Pidgeonholes, and others. She was nominated for a 2017 Pushcart Prize, a finalist in the 2017 James Wright Poetry Competition, and a semi-finalist for The Hellebore scholarship. alyssa is a Contributing Editor at Barren Magazine and an aquarium technician in Westchester, living with her four weird lizards. follow her @alyssawaking on twitter, instagram, ko-fi, and patreon.