PC: Amy Krencius
i will never be a zookeeper
that’s what they told me when i asked
if they’d take me to arizona. the loose bone
in my foot, accident prone, memory of a goldfish
a liability— the xrays were inconclusive
but the rattled rib was proof enough.
why fight for something
what do you consider your strengths?
nothing you could pay me for, but i am well versed in falling.
i can paint myself a pretty picture putting my carcass
on a canvas, or frag myself onto ceramic plugs the way one
performs surgery on a coral; i can be left right center
and never be able to tell you the difference.
it took me five years to learn my name.
i consider that a talent.
i misplaced my head a few times and used my weak wrists instead.
they call that ingenuity, right?
we would never fight against you,
we just wouldn’t fight for you.
i watch as your plane takes off, phoenix-bound and steel.
isn’t that the same thing, though?
my parents want me to go to therapy.
they want me to ruin a day a week
by spending a few hours in a quiver,
talking to some lady about
chemicals, horses, fish, the string theory
of the fear that i will never be loved.
they said they would pay for it.
they said they would stop helping me with rent if i didn’t go.
“we’d prefer not to, but if that’s
what it takes…” if that’s what it takes
then what does it give?
the nauseating smell of a rotten wrist?
or is it just the endless searching for the end
of a circle.
About The Author - alyssa hanna
alyssa hanna graduated from Purchase College in May 2016 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in History. Her poems have appeared or are upcoming in Reed Magazine, The Naugatuck River Review, Crack the Spine, Rust + Moth, BARNHOUSE, Pidgeonholes, and others. She was also nominated for a 2017 Pushcart Prize and was a finalist in the 2017 James Wright Poetry Competition. alyssa is an aquarium technician in Westchester and lives with her fish and special needs lizards.