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Barely Breakfast, Slick with Rain

A poem by Alexander Fosnaugh, a sophomore English and Communications major

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Content Warning: discussion of self harm


I wobbled through the graceful gates,

Left ajar by the wayfarers before me.

You can trace our origins back to the apple orchard.


Run your hands along the bark, feel its history.

Trees always have something to say. Use your gift,

Make sure, you stare into the sky and wonder why it is blue.


You know, each man wakes in the morning,

To see the pink peek through clouds,

And the sun’s rays pouring through the sky.


I’ve never spoken of it, for obvious reasons.

But here, the message is written, engraved,

Carved deep in the rough and rugged bark of trees.


Somewhere else, At the pitch heart of winter.

They both appear, holding hands.

An image seen only in my fanciful dreams.


From the treetops, thousands of insistent insects cry,

Their wailing sinks straight through me. Their screams

strike a tuning fork until the wails become mine.


For years of solemn silence, I paid.

On crumpled, lined sheets of non-approved paper.

Distinction between paper and my meaty flesh was unclear.


Ink peppers my room with a dusky dark spray.

Circles of pitch black blood stain the walls,

It drips down dimly until it's the only thing left.


I hope the lovely lilies will not wilt with the winter air.

I hope warmth unspools from my breath,

A soft cacophony to melt the frost.


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