Arianna Miller

laid out to dry

their irish accents lit a fire

    in us    shook our american

minds when they said they loved our fast talk,

                                        the way we kissed & bit

       their lips

        & they told us we  were  brilliant

 we let them take us

home, where they showed us cloudy views

  from their flat, the insides

of their palms  & made fun of us for wearing

    flip flops; “a girl should never show an irishman  her toes.”

we watered       left behind lovers as we gaped at green

  mountains sprinkled in little white puffs

only pausing to remember what it felt like to kiss in sligo

  rain,       our faces   hidden beneath soaked sweaters & the glow

      of yellow lamps.


the invention of mental illness

my mother always told me there was nothing wrong with me.

the bees buzzing beneath my mattress were nothing more

than grandfather’s snoring reverberating through the walls.

when i was six i crawled up the ladder to my mother’s loft

made of pine and something sour. she said the smell was rain-

soaked pillows digesting the water. i knew it was milk she kept

in her closet; sometimes she mistook it for the fridge. on sundays she took

me to the lake-drenched park. where the ducks & geese poked their heads

into puddles that were no longer there. momma said i was better than birds

i had to stop making up things that weren’t there.


Arianna Miller is a senior at SUNY Geneseo; she has previously been published in Gandy Dancer. Ari studies creative writing and adolescent education, hoping to inspire her future students to fall in love with words as she did. In her free time, Ari enjoys writing, performing slam poetry, and playing with her pet hermit crab named Lilo.