Black Blood 

by Aliya Backstrom

my teeth fell out of my head, stomped on repeatedly and grounded into the skin of the earth.

maybe people like me will grow into the trees themselves, veins blending in with bark, strange

fruit. some days i want to rip my skin off, piece by piece.

my blood will turn into branches.

trauma is black blood running down your face


please stop please don’t do this please stop please don’t do this

why are you taking me away from me

you’re hurting me, my head sounds hollow

my teeth fell out years ago

knocks the love out of you and gets hard

knocks the trust out of you and strokes itself

knocks the faith out of you and finishes.

the choir shakes their heads and sings requiem.


aliya backstrom (she/hers):  a queer soul grasping for her identity - I sob over feeling lost constantly. enthralled with cinema, art, beauty, literature - what the world always desperately needs. also a lover of tattoos, tea, equality, and people of color. I'm slowly and surely trying finding my voice, because being vulnerable is what makes life worth living.