This piece is featured in Issue No. 11 Forbidden Fruit


How The Mighty Have Fallen \\ cupsing adolescence

How The Mighty Have Fallen

This body is not your boiler room.
This body is not here for your careless corruption.
I have given up trying to turn into dust.
I have given up trying to hide my heart 
in her chest.

You can put my heart at half mast
and watch it wrinkle in the wind 
and leave my bones out to dry
on your grandmother’s clothesline.

Some days, you are a raindrop 
pooling into so many puddles.
Most days, you are water 
sucked from the hurricane,

reminiscent of a dewy morning,
mornings after terrible things.
Reel me in from this nightmare—
skip me all the way to shore. 

Steep me in this quiet revolution.
Give me a lover I won’t have to hide.
Give her the faith to walk outside at midnight
to watch the stars without wondering
in whose hands she will end up next.

We spend too much time falling
into calloused hands,
balancing on blistered toes,
falling in love with our eyes closed.

And what will I tell my grandfather after he’s walked 
a thousand miles across this snow crusted border
to call this country home?

After he’s planted the seeds to his family tree
and prayed to Hashem for rain?

What will I tell him when 
the tree grows sick with the sweetness of fruit,
when branches snap under the weight of change?
You can grind these bones to grain
and feed us the bread.
You can bake these bodies in your kiln,
but we will come back ceramic.

cupsing adolescence

I ask my mother, what would happen if my body was wrung out like a rag / secretions of the flesh falling onto the grass like raindrops / watering the earth with our bodies / with the sounds they make / the movements like breaking bread / to form something sweeter / what is to become of two boys / cusping adolescence, palms sticking to each other like dew / stretching last night’s moonlight into the dawn / liquified silver / passing through our hands like river water / melting chains into lockets / keeping your picture on my pulse / safer here than under my pillow of dead geese / the reminder of your father taking you hunting / the screams spilling out of the forest / your finger hot on the trigger / fingers that now find me / this body its own sort of gun / your hands finding the soft spots / pressing deep like into the bruise of a pear / juice frothing around your finger / sweet with rot / my mother asks me what you mean to me / I turn away and answer to the trees / you mean our sweat salting the goose feathers / my own flesh / pimpled at the sight of you / the hearth of me / swelling in my jeans / not the staying / but the waking up at dawn with a smudge of light / to guide your leaving 

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Hannah Shapiro

Hannah Shapiro (she/they) lives and writes on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation. She holds a BA in English Literature from Carleton University. Their work has appeared in Rough Cut Press, Bywords, and Acropolis Journal. Hannah is the poetry editor of Sumac Literary Magazine.\\ IG: @_hannahshapiro_