the first week

thank you for buying me
the plan b pill as i laughed.
the bus ride felt like a century long
& the man in the pharmacia asked if
it was for you, you jokingly said
yes.          you tell me my laugh is nervous
but i know it is full of shame
&               i taste it in my mouth.
i taste shame in my mouth & feel
it in bruises men & women give me when
i am most vulnerable.
i see my father in me
every time i notice a woman’s ass
& every time my jaw locks
i carry myself like
a gun
waiting to go off.

i have shot men
that looked like
& felt nothing

bible belt carry on

walking through the prado
in the afternoon
“how many paintings
are of men drinking from
the virgin mary’s tit?”
i spotted at least five, mary
squirting into a saint’s mouth
that saint                 sighing
i try to imagine being so holy
that my milk is seen
in the same light
as a blessing
a protection.
there is a statue of two lovers
embracing, stone that holds longing
in the same way i hold longing.
i watch that statue for thirty minutes
waiting for one of the figures to
change their mind in the same way
we changed our minds
but neither move.
the next room has thirty paintings
of Jesus’ thighs
strong enough to carry himself
& his father,
we are all carrying images of our fathers
& every father expects us to martyr ourselves
in their image,
i will not martyr myself for

not making sense with my own trauma, making love with my own trauma

a year of humming the same tune under my breath
you taste like beginnings and ends
a year of cafes coated in smog coated
in forgetfulness
[i could never forget]
the year rushes before me, night walks night walks night walks
holding hands with you in the dark
a year of humming the same tune
the same tune that tastes like you in my
i might have carried you heavier in my heart
mi corazon                                than i dared to admit at the time.

i can’t take myself seriously

the whole year is darkness with my face

with my                                                                             face.

i am having flashbacks in class.

my back hurts my back hurts in the morning light.
i am grief with a face
mourning myself
my mouth is made of ash




Erin Taylor is an American poet. Her poetry often deals with her own experiences and trauma. She has a chapbook of poetry OOOO out through Bottlecap Press and she’s the interviews editor over at Maudlin House. She is writing a book on loneliness. More of her work can be found at and she tweets at @erinisaway.