loneliness and departure for some state of upheaval
Olivia Ayes

February 4, 2014


the kind of silence that makes you pay attention—an encumbered life continues. i want to tell her: be a threat,
which is nothing but repair. 

to feel as though it is you who diminishes, not the city you’ve left. there is no need for additional worry—this
time, a viable plan for us to ascend.

let’s meet over music, young one. this skyline matches the palest moonstone. i will not tell you about
someone’s lesson to be learned—

often after vanishing, the bridges we leap from do not recall our necessities. and i swear, the night and days
after sounded like the ocean.

there are those who risk: walk under a low branch of a peach tree to avoid rain droplets. love, sudden and
vital, which has always been yours.


Olivia Ayes is a queer writer, educator, and agent of change living in Tanzania. She has lectured at universities in the St. Louis area, as well as City University of New York. Her writing appears in LEVELER, T/OUR, Sukoon, The Nervous Breakdown, Matador, Five Quarterly, Blackbird, Crab Orchard Review, and elsewhere. She blogs at NOTES FROM THE MARGIN.

What motivates her to create:
“Poetry nearly killed me—it took me years to reconcile the idea of investing time and financial security by pursuing an MFA, without much to show for it. I blamed it for its uncertainty, its harsh business, its purpose in the world. I forgave it, eventually realizingthat poetry, in fact, kept me alive. Writing allows me to process my experiences and make something beautiful, out of something that’s perhaps painful or mundane or in every layer of the word—ugly, per a mentor, Ruth Ellen Kocher. Creativity is therapy, an integral part of our existence. Further, it’s enlivening to share it, which is why I’m grateful for when I’m able.”