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