Poetry by Anisa Tavares




the bed is still warm from when you once lay

here with me in solemn rest

where i once dreamt a perfect dream


stolen adolescence shielded in shining afternoons, every thought cursed to be all-consumed by you. the forefront of my mind always looking ahead,

but something, somehow, always wondering if i’d left myself behind somewhere.


the silence that befell us

i fear strong enough to sever trust


if you stay with me forever,

will it be a blessing or a burden?


i can have anything i want anything i want

anything at all except for you.


when you call i will answer

and when you don’t call i will still come


i beg to hidden mysteries in hopes for a cure, honest voices that will never be heard


i’d say broken lies litter concrete pathways, dusted treetops and sunlit skies,

but i can’t remember you without such ill-advise


no words to be spoken, no promises to be laid,

time could never stand the test of fate if the stopwatch never started ticking.


it’s hard to wish for what you cannot receive

it’s hard knowing all the things you’ll never achieve i’d wish for you, would you wish for me?

i’ve even turned to the stars, which i swore i’d never do,

after everything i had gone through i’d set out out to be brand-new


i’ll still think of you

even after we’ve exchanged our final goodbyes years later, down the line

when you’re different and so am i.



pink wine


oh daisy rose, oh prairie lily,

so inauspiciously laced with iridescence it makes me sick


sharpened ceramic slices through your grace, painted chrysanthemums bleed onto polished wood.

serrated knife ends peel back the layers of your semi-toned garden, venom flows through every root


garlands and wreaths bound together tightly, mimicking matrimonial clauses


wildflowers litter the earth where you walk, soaking the ground in their chloroform tears.

what was once new and vibrant is now dead and dull massacred by a poison

that runs rampant through the trees.


oh heavenly lady, so tickle-me-pink with glee they write poems about you,

books, movies, and songs.

does he get down on his knees when he hears them?


does he worship the ground you walk on, even though it is dry and brittle,

coarse with the toxins that remain stained

with the desperate scene you have left behind, unknowingly?


or does he cherish you in all your bewilderment because of your striking similarity,

in both tone and recognition?


does he love you so much it ails him? do you make him feel sick?

is he sick with admiration for you? or have you poisoned him,

like all the other blooming violets?


get drunk on the wine, tell us your story.

tell us what makes you move, what drives you?

what pushes you to move farther and better than before?

tell me your secrets, your maladies, your malcontents and your gripes,

tell me everything that comprises of you as if it were simply a fruit on the vine. oh heavenly lady,

my dear lovely daisy rose,

have you become so full on pink wine that it obscures your vision,

and your reflection no longer looks like yours, but mine?






going through old memories and i don’t recognize myself,

i wonder how much it really took for everyone else to really tell


or if this was really all just in my mind


this entire time,

looking down seeing things considered overtly rare

pointing out complexities and complications as if i had a quota to meet

and was never barely there.


too invaluable, too outshined, too impersonal, too loud

too much, too much all at once, never enough, too LOUD,

too obnoxious, too scary, too sarcastic, way too loud


disappear and resubmit as someone better find yourself opening doors once sealed shut continue finding yourself at such a standstill until you’ve lost more than you’ve given up


you still take up too much space. what must it take to get to the center of those around you?

you will never know.

dwindle down your tangibility until all you are left with is the hollow essence

and constant reminders of what was let go. standing lonely in crowded spaces

never gave me so much time to think

now i’m reflecting on matters pertaining to my mind and body’s desperation to sync


who are you now who are you now who are you now who are you now who are you now who are you

who are you now?


meanwhile they poke and they nudge,

awestruck at the exterior of who you have become. a reinvention means new beginnings,

one where no one should know the origins

of past performances


i’ve been a girl for all 18 years of my life

but it seems i’ve only been a desirable one for 10 months. it seems the secret to being

is losing physical parts of yourself: functionality, commonality, vulnerability,

and replacing it with the featherlight feeling of fabric stretched too thin across the middle

but it’s what they want, so let them have it


commonality between then and now means

i will always be compliant to give up despondency in the namesake of admiration.

if my functionality be at risk, so it may what arising opportunistic chances wouldn’t one take

without a second glance? predispositioning themselves to feel that vulnerability

for the remainder of their lives, condemning themselves

to be left out in torrential rain with no map, no help, no clue, no plan on where to go next.

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