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self-portrait as you as i

poetry by Hillary Martin

self-portrait as you as i

you left out the sunshine on purpose,

separated yourself from the flowers.

explained it as if someone else did it for you,

smaller, less directly in front filling warehouses

with your tongues and bleeding on borrowed things.  

your dad suggested you looked happier in old photos,

so you dyed your hair darker to feel closer to your mother.

you buy yourself dying flowers, every sunday

to celebrate surviving saturday.

you went to truckee once because the name made your belly ache,

and you found something that wasn’t blue,

and you found something that wasn’t ocean.

[1] [2] [3]

poetry by Hillary Martin

[ 1 ]

when I grow up I want my mother

to carry me heavy to her bedroom

tuck me in on the pillow

where she lays her head


she’ll press her lips

to my forehead

tell me to rest

you have done enough of

traveling and begging.


[ 2 ]

when the yard claims day

my sister and i

will scrub the saint

from each other’s bellies.


she will spill water on the crown

of my head

and pass me the cup.


[ 3 ]

when clouds dry up

my grandma will unbury herself

from the flower bed

in my front yard. she will tell me

she talked to god

and was mistaken

that whosoever means



she will take me to the

kitchen and pour soup from her mouth.

she will bring me to the table

and tell me to eat up.


Hillary Martin

Originally from a small town in Tennessee, Hillary Martin is a queer poet currently living in Oakland, California. She attends California College of the Arts where she is pursuing her MFA in Writing with a concentration in Poetry. Her work can be found in Selcouth Station, Glass Poetry, and Red Earth Review. 

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