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WHOLE by Alise Versella

My second poetry book, Onion Heart was very personal to write...

I go back and reread these poems and I’m taken back to another life, I was a different person. It’s funny how someone can do that to you, take what you thought you knew and shred it. 

But through these words often dark, I came out on the other side of that tunnel and into the light. I reclaimed the broken bits of myself. And that’s what I love about this poem, no matter the pain another can cause you, the heart bounces back. You bounce back. However broken you become you are still capable of being whole.


It only hurts if I let it
If I suffer silently soon this too will pass
And from my pain the aftermath is always beauty
From my pain come a million and one lightning bugs
Sparkling like stars spread out against the night
I only feel the hunger until I let it subside
My desire stemming from loneliness
My passion whips around like a fire
Out of control
Come appease it just to tease it
Form the clay to fit inside your mold
Until the edges bleed out
Fix the cracks
And peeling plaster
Cover the holes with spackle
It will only kill me if I let it
But it doesn't
So I am stronger
These ghosts can't haunt me if I don't believe
Don't believe in your nightmares
I run but not from monsters
Not from the past
I run not to keep the pace with others
I run but not away
I run only to see how far
I can get before there's nowhere left to go
I breathe to fill my lungs
Not to bring you back to life
So my ribcage walls cannot come down
Unless I let them fall
This body will only break if I let you snap the bones
And since you have taken no more
Than my heart
It's apparent that I can never fall apart.

(Originally published in 'Onion Heart' by Alise Versella)

Alise Versella:  I am a 24 year old poet living in the pinelands of New Jersey. Poetry has always been the ether in my veins and the oxygen I breathe. It is my Five Foot Voice, my Onion Heart, I am peeling back the layers of myself like a lotus unfurling its petals in order to grow fully in the waters that can sometimes weigh us down. I’m writing poetry to find myself, I’m writing poetry to save the world. My hope it that my poetry saves someone’s world from crumbling because I believe art has the power to hold us up when we can’t find the legs to stand. You can visit me at my Facebook page here or on my website here.

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~


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