Poetry,  Published Submissions

Poster Child

Don’t tell me that nothing is perfect, and don’t tell me that 

                 everything is okay. I collapse myself into the carpet with my hands 

                              buckled 

against the brailing skin. Watch me cry into the wheatgrass as your daughter. As a baby. 

                 I wonder if my mother is yelling because she thinks my feathers 

are the wrong color, or if she  

                              misses hers. Please help me. 

My father is sitting in his chair like a king with a severed head. I have blood on my fingers. 

            I told my best friend that I was scared. Scared of red-flamed walls crumbling 

into my mother’s eyes. He says, 

                   Watch the moon. The window. The dust. What if I’m not strong enough?  

         It’s easier to just sink in my bathtub and watch the ceiling burble. 

When I blow out candles, it’s another eyelash on my cheek. It’s another friend against 

                                    the wall.  

                                                         Why can’t I be molded into a better person? 

I open my mouth and there is a broken tooth. Cavity. Black. Night. I can’t speak. Lockjaw. 

                 Somebody, please kill me. 

I want to be quiet against my bed. Pillowed. Stable. Hold my own hand and stare at the wall. 

                                                        My dad slams my door open, and I let go. 

                                     Cut out my eyes and put them in a jar. Then, you can watch my fear  

            from glass. Shape warped into a boneless body. 

I am in a nightmare rotation. Eating nectarines on the cobblestone 

                                      and my body is throbbing. Wake up! Wake up! When I do, I want 

                  the scratching to be gone.  

Scatter me across a field and wait for the seasons. Roots are growing out of my feet. Out of my shoes. 

                                      Forcing the canvas to burst. 

                    I’m pierced into the ground. My knees are bruised. Purple. Sunset. Blood. 

                                    Plaster me as a leaf. Coat me in sap. Put tape on my forehead. Maybe then  

you’ll frame me on the fridge. I will never be a good daughter, will I? 

– Juliette Hagobian

Juliette Hagobian (she/her) is an eighteen-year-old poet and writer from Los Angeles, California. She has been published in Filter Coffee Zine, h-pem, and her school’s creative literary magazineAril. She is her school’s Poetry Club President and works as a poetry/prose editor for an online literary magazine, Kalopsia Literary. She is currently a senior attending Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School. Find her on Twitter as @jjules_h.