matty photo of me.jpeg

enjoy your stay!

brother

brother

i would’ve died that february.

alone. the walls still have my tears

sewn behind mildew in the grout.

my mind—the crepuscule

darkening into an apathetic black.

i would have died that morning.

dragging hands and knees across the stone

to the bathroom, not yet detached

from her.

i called to you.

i would have died on the floor,

somberness swallowing my legs

as i bled humanity back to the earth

in fist-sized waves.

the heaviness of my sob, like an anchor

angrily tossed to the sea.

i would have died under the weight

of expectation asleep

in crimson puddles, smeared on my thighs and arms

staining the tile, trying to out-crawl the irrecovocable.

you were sicker than i.

you were dying. really dying.

your liver turning back on itself,

moss-toned skin and sallow eyes, vomitous between breaths.

you were dying. unable to sleep or eat without pain.

i leaned on you at your weakest,

surprised to feel your usually strong arms

shaking under pressure as i curved

my discolored knees to my chest and

bent toward you

to be held.

—rachel baila

oyster

oyster

winter solstice

winter solstice