The Great Hall of my family's DNA is padded
from floor to ceiling; straight-jackets hang
down like banished chandeliers and something
sulks in the corner sucking its thumbs.
At night, the security guard sleeps through
his shift while the air evacuates—a teenager
is always found bleeding from the wrists
by morning. It's unfortunate, like a beloved doll
left in a puddle. A mother's boredom watching
her children strapped to the drowning vehicle,
this unraveling yarn of gene. My grandmother left
her hand mirror on the dresser. It's handle
carved a small Turkish landscape my family
was born near. The impulse to hide
it in my underwear drawer, hereditary. At six,
when I reach for it, every ancestor shows up
to watch; my fingers now lit and hissing.
TRISTAN SILVERMAN started writing poetry in Chicago's spoken word scene and has represented the city in over five national competitions. Winner of Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, Tristan's work has been published in numerous journals including Boxcar Poetry Review, November 3rd Club, Union Station, Pedestal Magazine, DecomP and WordRiot.
READ AND LISTEN
Issue 9 Playlist