Home—Alba Sarria

The door opens,
You can smell the rust coming off the hinges
like fresh blood.

The night has arisen twisted—

Your childhood halls smell like winter:
The beginning of christmas,
Gingerbread cookies.
That nasty cinnamon candle 
your father ran from 
and your mother lit
like a victory.

Your feet—too big
—for the papaya rug
at the foot of your bunk bed
in the dusty fabric.

There is old rosemary hidden under your pillow.
You used to eat one leaf a night,
puking your father’s genes out of you
while your mother spent her nights
with an ear pressed to the bathroom door,

Your top bunk was always empty,
to adults.
In the twilight you would watch
pale boney feet—
toes not fully formed—
dangle over the side of the top mattress
until you couldn’t feel your skin.
And in the dawn,
when your mother slept and your father
the feet would slip,
and a body unformed would splatter
all over your bright orange papaya rug.

Your feet
fully formed
now curl and claw at the rug.
The door is still opening.
The soles of your feet are oozing
sucking up all that was yours
and that you denied yourself
for petty morality.

Your father comes in with a black trash bag
It drags along the same floor you 
dressed your dolls on.
he opens it.

“Your birthright.”

You spent so many nights 
performing exorcisms on yourself 
in the mirror.
So many dawns burying yourself alive 
in the yard.
So many birthdays baking rosemary
into your cakes and stabbing your palms
with stakes.

Your father pulls a hair tie out of his pocket
and you 


Alba Sarria is a poet and flash fictionist fascinated by all things eerie and disquieting. Alba is the 2018 CSPA Gold Circle Award winner for freeform poetry and an avid lover of orchids.

photo by Alekon pictures (via unsplash)