growing pains

︎︎︎ Sarah Yanni

︎ October 22, 2022

the ivy in the window makes the room darker now   
when I first moved in it was
barren twigs       
            a house of decay       
my lowest and I fell into a leather couch    
            subleased linen sheets from a stranger       
but in January
the sun rose brightly on my bed                in it, my body basked
reading but not really reading    just watching words
left to right                      continuing the scan off-page        
till my eyes hit the wall
              I was looking for a surface to land on           
I was looking                    to ground
an essential oil scent that is just called   
I have no idea what it smells like
             I just know it gives me allergies   
             and also brings me peace

I’m tired of everyone trying prayer
it was my burden to learn then unlearn    and so what
            maybe I want to pray a little now
but not like before         and not
             like you
I’ve learned that morality is uncertain     and that creates
              expanse I’ve learned that
time folds in on itself and sometimes
I’m at my parents’ house and I am made to feel
             small again         and I both love and hate
that feeling of shrinking away

Sarah Yanni is a writer, editor, and educator in Los Angeles. She is Managing Editor of TQR and has been recognized as a Finalist for the 2022 Andres Montoya Poetry Prize, Poetry Online's 2021 Launch Prize, BOMB Magazine's 2020 Poetry Contest, and the Hayden's Ferry Review Inaugural Poetry Contest. She's online @sssaritahh /

Also by Sarah: I am a smart girl