Anyone But Me
by Alisha Grace Scott

I’m too much of a coward to
read my poetry to anyone but me—
alone in my moon-drenched apartment
bellowing verses to the indifferent walls.
Yes, I will never be brave enough to let
gentle phrases like
infinite ellipse, or
shutter-quick blinks, or
bittersweet mirage
sail a sea of whirlpool ears
on my whisper-soft tongue.
And I will certainly always avoid
allowing verbiage like
calloused soul, or
violent embrace, or
pungent nostalgia
to fall from my thunderous lips
and rain down sputtered syllables.
No matter the cost, for the span of my life,
I will never be able to speak these
stray feelings herded into sentences
and released from their pen in my pen:
No one will know
how I sometimes wonder
whether I’m so lonely that I’d love a mirage,
paint a pretty image over a convenient face
and lose my mind trying to keep it from being erased, or
How I crack myself up thinking
that the only way to tell the seasons in L.A.
is when pilates-sculpted calves shed stilettos
for boots that look like chunky wookie feet, or
How I once lost a night’s sleep in guilt,
counting my ribs—two sets of twelve—
just because I didn’t know how many I had
and felt I owed them each their own apology.
Yes, I am
an infallible fool,
a perfect coward,
a runaway scaredy-cat chicken but—
I think I just read my poem to
duped and crookedly grinning,

AUTHOR’S CAPTION FOR THE PHOTO: She drove far from the city and hiked to the top of the Vasquez Rocks to find solitude. When she got to the top, she heard all the lives in Los Angeles sing to her through the breeze, and she no longer needed to be alone.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alisha Grace Scott received her B.S. degree from Virginia Tech in psychology and is currently a graduate student at Antioch University Los Angeles pursuing her M.F.A. in Creative Writing. She has had her fiction and poetry published in Silhouette, Rose Red Review, Syzygy Poetry Journal, Enclave, and resides in the L.A. area. If you see her wandering the city staring into space and furrowing her brows, shhh, she’s busy working.