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5 Poems by Lilia Marie Ellis


And night fell; precarious, haphazard cavalier calamity; sweetsudden silence you could set a watch to. I feared day, its heartbreak and its dew, its faces lit in love's impersonation; I wanted to be enshrouded, an unperceived canvas, a hollow span of dark to veil me whole; I was alone, and night fell; as it so often does; unexpected; night fell.

I had no need to enter the darkness; it clouded me, like a lover, like a lilt, like an ending; I was beheld; I was lifted; fear left me; whole. At last untroubled, I stepped into my life like a pair of childhood shoes which still somehow fit; and gratitude fell; and joy fell; and love, endless, fell; every starren windfall of survival; the air against which I've never ceased breathing;


River poem


moon; a single streak of vertical orange slicing water in two; gentle as before and after;

the staling heavy of late summer; the whole of its weight atop millimeter waves; lapping at rocks in softcrying failure; wearied of carrying themselves;

night; Earth's empathy; like the sudden end of an endless sorrow;


six pale ducklings in two by two, and i think they maybe are reenacting how God rebirthed the world after slaughtering it, which is another thing we're supposed to be grateful for, the fact that God didn't, that we're all still here, and although often i am not at all grateful to be here, tonight, at least, i am;

(stilled into tarry expanse, floating lithely on waters far vaster than me;)

how strange to be here; in silent serenity; how strange to think my life could be anything but ending;

(it would sicken me; to count each incomprehensible evil that ferried me here;


i am done counting the days; i have satiated my grief; evil deserves no memorial; evil has taught me nothing; i sit at the river, late, too tired to weep.

(gulls, too alive for gratitude; shrieking as if it were easy; soaring; far above me;

sharpsussuring waters, night's love, a beaming embrace; i dip in my toes, and the gentle dark becomes me;)

i really do think i'm happy;


A Portrait of the Physical Sensation of Happiness

realized, regained; a spark of life in fits and bursts; a ghoul of being comes playfully out of hiding; full-bodied, adjusting to light; joy meanders its awkward dance, like any patient surprise; the dawning knowledge every hell has its end; the most beautiful things don't hurt at all;


Harden not your heart

aswelter, fixed at the zenith, some marmoreal, unfleeting terror; (I have lived through too much and am luckier than most); sorrows, flickering ourouborine; their starless burn, their brightempty night; it hurts to be under; it hurts to be beyond saying; (I have precipiced myself; stepping outside my life into the endless, embittered intermediary; to learn by falling; the depths of human cruelty;

I understand now; how some people bear their hurt by shedding love; I promise myself to never become them;


Early morning

And again (in how I woke it) the moon flickered, I told myself this must be the reel's end, except all it was was late, and lonely, and for some reason (I could feel it piecewise and half-assembled weaving spirals in my heart) a cloud of terror siezed me, and it whispered don't tell a soul. And in the near thunderstorm of near sleep, I glared at my mirror through my tearlight, and I blamed myself, like how not feeling human is a part of feeling human—


Lilia Marie Ellis (they/she) is a trans writer. Their chapbook Love and Endless Love was published by giallo. Follow them on Twitter/Instagram @LiliaMarieEllis!

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