Shelter or summit –

a wood they call it, in

a stream, lined up with crossroads and fields of

four directions. Adolescent

they call it,

a dormitory of unforgivable energy,

magnificence embedded into organ-memory,

wondering what could be equal to this

collapse, would something be equal and claim

a path to recovery.

Foul play

they call it, marginalized, a display

of tragedy, like a crippled horse, on the grass,

in the afternoon.

Unjust, you call it, a senseless chemistry

that begins brightly and ends in ash.


Belong with me. Belong here in this intimacy

in this fraction of time, square footage of a place that is ours,

that we imagined and manifested and will not be corrupted.

Forget what they call it, their exhibitions of

ego-soothing massage.


This is our strategy – to touch the canvas

with our intentions pure and concentrated

as they first were – disappointment, devastations

degraded to one sleepless night, then returned

for a greater glory.



Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “Sick Lit Magazine” March 2017

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Custodian – by Allison Grayhurst



You can listen to the poem by clicking below:


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