Procession of Late-Night Confessions

Sometimes coffee spilled over all
the pages, Post-its of my thoughts—

soaked-through milky smell
concealing tears felt—

is a ritual cleansing,
like baptism, spring cleaning
purging of sin.

I won’t send a plague on this house,
I’m sorry, this house is not a home

rain-streaked windows
make this place more livable.

We like to talk of christenings
in lieu of baptisms in blood

I am not a martyr; I know I am not a martyr.

I know not who I am
but I know 5 a.m.

and its cousins—hunger sans appetite,
dry heaving over toilets, the silence

like scalpels, silence like UV rays
burning my skin with the lights turned off;

silence—

you wouldn’t believe me if I told you
how 5 a.m. is a scalding cup of chamomile

I pour down my throat every night
and every time I’m still surprised
when it burns.

—Yana Lyandres

 

BIO: Yana Lyandres is a French and English major at New York University and plans to teach after she graduates.