Giselle Flores Alvarado

Worry Lines

i’m tired
adolorida y temblando
i’ll tap on my collarbone, hope that chases you
out of my easily shocked system,
that maybe my brain waves will choose
to crash somewhere far away from my sympathetic nervous system.
but lately you’re closer
to my left ventricle
than medicine should allow.
so i’ll up my own dosage of
bed rest and sleep. ignore you
flipping down marrow tracks into
deeper carne y hueso
i just don’t have the energy to argue
words dripping down my mouth,
getting further away from my mother
tongue it feels like swallowing static.
i feel too close to madness.
i’ll even forget how to spell my own name.
letters and identities turning into riptides
filling my chest cavity and you
make me forget how to breathe.
i’ll bend for you and make myself small
as you fire commands in my brain and leave me to rot
with ‘what ifs’, ‘could have beens’ and worst case scenarios
nada de esto es romántico. there is no such thing
as beautiful suffering. i have bled through every shirt I own.
Worry lines cutting off circulation pushing blood and plasma
into and out of me leaving only rust in my mouth.
and i hate that maybe you know me best.
are you too honest?
are you a liar?
closed circuit synapses spark and
i’ll call you by familiar names just trying to
turn you into knowable ghosts.

this has to be anything but poetry.

Giselle Flores Alvarado is a latinx, femme, lesbian who is studying literary arts at Brown University. She was born in Mexico and has grown up in southern California. She is a first generation college student who enjoys writing about mental health, queerness, womanhood, and love. She writes poetry, fiction, and is interested in how these genres overlap. She is also an avid lover of earl grey tea and random dance parties.