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Poem by Keira Armstrong

Updated: Jul 14, 2022

are you the critic? every morning, we do nothing

every morning, a page turns and i roll down a hill into an open mouth and blank palm

every clink adds a tendon of insulation and lingering letters,

it means nothing to me whether the world believes me dead.

from this, I grow something, perhaps it is more fitted to the syntax stretched across my face and flapping on my chest.

better than bitterness that i leave with your body when the door closes and i grow raw

you wonder what i mean. i mean nothing.

a closed door.

something sings about a boy and his loneliness. A snap and the sounds stop. i quite like this song, or so I am told.

my heart wavers in your hand. stopping and starting and stopping

imagine it now, a mirror with faces, none of them pretty. a fixed collar.

music always sings to the artist, but i am not one. who then? the art, of course.

i take your hand and put it to my bones, fructifying the infecund epilogue. this is where I kiss another, thus, kissing you and your reveries on the forehead. and yes, my love, I bite the fire but there is time. That won’t come until later.

now's the bricks against backs and I think I’m the writer. confident and inspired by streaks of pink and veins of brown.


but i am here running against the current of wind, braced for a reality.

that is how i’m the imitation of you, who gets to be the elocutionist.

can you live with that?

i led you down winding paths and over the sky. On our journey, I ask you if you’re real is this you?

the scene in the street that turns into an alley and grows into a fire escape -clanging metal and small kittens that we cannot pet

allow for the slow motion of this to overtake you. the sound of glass around your arm.

i apologize though i do not know the meaning of sorry in my mouth.

take the pants that are wet with drowl and stitch them clean with a mother’s touch. make it come alive in a bright forest invariably torn away by the hand that feeds me a bad dream against the backdrop of fame and sky touched by splatters of stars

lying here with you. then without.

in the airport, hands shaky and eyes to far away to feel the grease at my fingers clumsy and i come undone

a finger against my chest and i cannot breathe in corners of the room


and reconstrued

bit by bit

and you don’t hear me anymore

how can i sleep when the things i do not take consume you?

in there, you are crying, hysterical with red over faces you have drawn of me my mechinall winds takes ahold and a building rises in my place

this, and only this remains in a whorl of what i leave behind on rotten paper

you are frightened and the water is painted blue and bruised by the hull of a ship, you never see passing

we have come from humans and lost ourselves in the tuble of desire

now forget this, we have come to the capstone next to the backlit statue an ugly and visceral light shines this is the denouement

and i am just learning to say i love you in the wrong way

i have saved this part for you

take the silver, dip it into olive, and let blue follow

an ending in which i know how to say



Keira Armstrong is a young author and founder of Verum Literary Press from New Orleans, Louisiana. Their work has been published in 'Quillkeeper's Press' and 'Austin Poets International', along with local magazines.

Interested in submitting to TEENS AGAINST THE BOOK BANS? We are still accepting submissions until we hit 50 submissions total and then will create a print anthology. Submit here.

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