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"This Is A Goodbye" by Kira Harris


There is poison in my tea and blood on my teeth.

I only know how to live in the violence.

The ocean tosses me around like a child with her favorite doll

and the chaos feels like the love of my mother,

back when she still held her innocence like a weapon.

Girlhood was one gift she could never give me,

but the rage she gave instead is equal enough.

Girlhood is Godhood after all and I know too well how to be worshiped.

The deeply maternal act of being prayed to eats me alive sometimes,

it is a good thing I thrive in the violence

otherwise I would have died with the other saviors.

I wish desperately that you’d stop asking me to save you.

Haven’t you read my other poems?

Don’t you know my heart doesn’t beat like it should?

There is blood on my teeth and poison in my tea,

yet you ask me to pour for two.

I think I hate you a little when I brew a new pot.

I think I hate you a little when you ask me for sugar

as if I am the type who could ever provide sweetness.

I think I hate you a little.

You ask me, stirring your unpoisoned tea,

who takes care of me.

I tell you the truth, although it tastes bitter and metallic,

no one saves a savior.

No one listens to the desperate pleas of a fragile god.

You disagree. You say you always listen.

My unpoisoned tea tastes worse than the truth did.


Vulnerability is the sharpest knife,

and it’s buried in my hollow ribcage.

You sip your tea blameless, but I can’t help but run.

Kira Harris is a New England poet with a focus on maternal divinity. You can often find her drinking way too much coffee and spending time with her cat. You can find her poetry in a variety of magazines including daughterzine as well as on her instagram @harrismusings

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