grow old, die young

before your heart numbs

from heaving with laughter

and caressing his cheek,

your lipstick smearing

his thumb


she has the suit and dress,

scarecrows on mannequins,

in her front lawn—

no explanation needed

that they were

only worn once


(whether for a funeral

or wedding, proportioned bodies

wear lace, frills, and cologne’s musk

[always strongest when

she kissed his cowlick]

with exquisite trust)


the young couple approaches

the sale, moving (casual-not-casual)

ever closer to the cloth and dust

the woman appears

wearing teeth that smile

thinking, all the while,


they must like antiques

the day i washed you out of my sweater


i let a week pass

before the scent grows

too pale a dose

of fantasy


your joke had been

far too serious

to take lightly:

“i see nothing sexy

about wearing lingerie,

but one of your sweaters…”


i press it,

still damp,

to my face

and breathe

the sterile trace

of an amputation


your smell

is now a word—

a ghost

of a ghost



Uriah Howard Allis, a queer twenty-one-year-old poet and nursing student from rural Western New York, has found pieces of his heart, mind, and soul escaping to the blank page ever since he could hold a pencil. He is the winner of the Alfred C. O’Connell Library’s 20th Student Poetry Content (2021). His poetry has been published by or is forthcoming from Active Muse, Ice Lolly Review, Eclipse Magazine, Moss Puppy Magazine, and Intangible Magazine. You can follow his journey on Instagram @uriahallis or https://uriahallis.wixsite.com/my-site.