The Visitor



A potted plant, full of cigarettes.

My mania wanes 

to a paralyzing hum.


The grounds thrice-steeped.

My misery keeps

time by euphoria rupture.


A wall meets my fist.

My memory splits 

into stars, below the horizon.


Air ages in rooms. 

My mouth, it wilts

into silence, a howl unheard. 




You show up bleeding,

your hands full of tea, asking:

Is your head the cage 

or the captive, today?

You are so bright, I avert

my eyes. 

You write a poem on the wall

and bite my hand. Let’s go!

We walk the mile to Johnny’s 

to find you only wanted

a single peach.

You forgot your shoes. They made you wait

outside, with the dogs.

We pour hot water over your tea.

Chrysanthemum, grown on a mountain

you took acid on. your knees won’t stop bleeding

on my bedsheets.

You draw a perched raven on my thigh, tell me

it’s going to be alright.

What am I supposed to 

be telling you?

I wake up alone 

to a house full of flowers 

in the steam.

You have gone, and all the dishes are

still piled in the sink.

Avery Lane is a poet based in Tucson, Arizona. Her poems have appeared in Trial and Error Collective zine and The Reading Series zine. Other than poetry, she is into philosophy, music, switching careers with little warning, and walking (with or without a particular destination).