Become an O:JA&L Member through Patreon.

Halsey Hyer

Elegy for Olivia

The Story of Lucretia by Sandro Botticelli

I saw a swimsuit ad model / self-harm scars / adorning
their thighs / like tinsel on pine / reminded me of you
how you’d turn your scars / into puppets / draw two dots
above that semi-healed slash of a mouth / pinch the skin
around your thigh / animating your scars / naming them
names you wanted / to give the babies you miscarried
cutting up / in boisterous high-pitched voices / you’d ask
Are you suicide? / Because you’re always on my mind.


About the writer:
Halsey Hyer is currently earning their MFA in Poetry from Florida International University where they teach in the Writing & Rhetoric program. They’re an Associate Editor of Pittsburgh Poetry Journal and the Virtual Events Assistant at White Whale Bookstore. Their poem, “Boy Wears Bra,” was selected as a finalist for the 2021 James Hearst Poetry Prize. Their poems can be found or are forthcoming in Rogue Agent, The Watershed Review, Santa Clara Review, The Blue Nib, Rappahannock Review, and elsewhere.

Image: The Story of Lucretia by Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510). Tempera on panel. 83.5 x 180 cm. 1500-1501. Public domain.

Become an O:JA&L Member through Patreon.