Alyse Sammarco is a writer and attorney who was drawn home to the Ohio River Valley after years in both the West and the South. She frequents the greater Cincinnati’s open mic scene and has had poems published in Sheila Na Gig Online, Black Moon Magazine, Lexington Poetry Month Anthology (2021 to be released in 2022), the online arts journal, AEQAI, and elsewhere.
The look of you
you look like your brother.
You always resented him,
The first born, the favorite,
And you, like a bastard,
Beaten with an antique bully club
Before the police came and confiscated it.
They left you behind
in a palace with winding paths
Through gardens your mother planted.
She grew flowers and hasta
In shadows underneath the trees
and in bright exposed beds.
You picked her tulips,
She cracked your knuckles with a wooden spoon
But put them in a vase nonetheless.
Maybe you really did love once.
Maybe you didn’t.
But when you turned those lessons on me,
You Never averted your eyes,
Sleepwalking, deaf to my pleas,
Blind to the handfuls of hair and wretchedness
What you really broke was your own heart
Empty after the flash flood of familial suffering
Pretending you had ever let me in.