The Last Say


The Last Say



Call it an infestation of worms

floor-mapping your innards.

Call it an impossible current

directing you over the crater-fall

or a whispered breath ricocheting

inside your skull that whispers “Loser!

Fool! You have never belonged!”


But you must belong, you must let it burn you out,

possess you with its electrical charge. Turn on

the microphone and scream its ownership

over you. Call it debris – plastic bags in the belly

of a dolphin. Call it hot liquid iron rising

to seal your throat, lock it so you cannot swallow.


Imagine yourself a greenhouse and store

your treasure there, place your orphaned lizards

in vegetable beds and tell them they are safe,

give them a home to thrive in.

Don’t crash or perish, but open, stay open

even as your nerves are poltergeist-haunted

and the flower you grew, counted on to keep growing

is snapped at the stem, ground-level.


How can you change it? You can’t. It is summer.

The last day of school. You wanted to harness your heart,

give it a safety net far from the rocks,

but it is all a choice – autonomous.

This is your nest, put in it what you will.

Trust in the green juice inside your branches,

don’t let the ice-melting platform at your feet prevail.

God is tender so you must be too,

keep your tenderness afloat,

even when soaked in frigid water.

Let the pressure threaten

to kill you. It won’t kill you.


Loosen the knot and climb under

the jettison cliff’s edge.

Hang upside down. It is a long way to fall,

but your arms are strong and something stronger still

is holding you in its sustaining embrace.



 © 2018 by Allison Grayhurst



Published in “Outlaw Poetry” June 2018

The Last Say by Allison Grayhurst



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