Lidabel A. Avila

Self Sacrificial

I have made a life

out of cutting out ribs

to build your spine.

My lungs have little to hold on to,

their hands slipping

on tissued flesh,

their safety net of marrow

charged with sheltering

someone else’s vitality.

I promise I won’t be too long

[if I run out of ribs,

my torso will fold over

and start plucking from my calves–

I think my femur is sturdy].

I just have to inscribe

my grievances

in the skin of this eulogy

before I go back

to giving



                           oh,                          are you thirsty…?

                         I’m so sorry,

                                                         I should’ve noticed

                                                               your empty chalice.

let’s fill it with the contents

of mine

                                                               [apologies for the metallic taste

                                                               but at least it’s unalloyed].


Lidabel A. Avila is a junior English creative writing major at SUNY Geneseo with previous publications in the college’s Mint Magazine and Iris Magazine. She mostly works on poetry connected to her Afro-Caribbean background, but indulges in speculative fiction and screenwriting as well. When not writing, Lidabel can be found sketching up future characters for her stories or practicing new drawing styles and techniques.