By Alyssa Shanderson

I weave my peace at 4AM when the thoughts

Shake me from my sleep and pull me

From the nightmarish bliss

Of my dreams and unsettle me.

Woven with thoughts of my mother’s gentle touch

And the rhythmic rise and fall of my baby’s chest

I melt into myself and muffle the other voices



I survey my body for tension at 12PM and find that

I have become restless throughout.

Thumb twiddling, nail biting

Toe tapping, neck-cracking

Tenseness in my spine having


Kind of restless that rocks your core and

Makes you feel foreign in your skin

Scratching at your very existence

Unknowing of how you will feel in the morning

Because Identity has become fluid

Who the fuck are you, me, and them


I sit across from the bassinet at 8PM to hear the baby breathe and realize

I have either become lost or adrift

Or found and confused.

Because the person I’ve become rejects

The one I used to be and my mind battles

The very thought of having us both because the bad voice says

That the good voice is bad. And the good voice says the opposite

I feel the throbbing in my head begin

They converse for hours

I have the power to take away everything

No, please don’t I always wanted to

Climb a mountain to make the world feel

Insignificant and conquerable.

There is no getting better and

I am not going anywhere

Without you.


We battle endlessly and they do not remember

That they were uninvited and with all of this

I remember that my head will explode anyway

So why not near a canvas so that art

Can come from the tragedy of two people gone

But only one coffin to bury