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A Poem on Becoming, from To The People

27 Mar 2020

From issue 03 of To The People, a zine by YTTP Studios

by Tyris Winter

When i came back from utah

My first act of self care

after rolling my suitcase into my bedroom

Was to wash my face

Cleanse the dead skin

Lose entire states

Watch miles twirl down the drain


as they resembled mountains,

Windows cracked on the highways at daybreak,

a gas station full of strangers in nevada

their exhales clinged to my pores

Their shed skin lived in the bed of my lungs

DNA caught in peripheral

lifelines lapsed in breeze

and all I can think about is the release

the exhales it takes to forget

how I won’t even remember the interactions that changed me

but I’ll know the feeling

the stomach sore from laughter

eyes quick for a dramatic roll

How the life of each conversation relies on the response

the life of me depends on how I breathe

If I can hold onto someone’s past long enough

for it to become mine


Each encounter will flow through my veins,

And since the brain needs oxygen,

then every person I’ve breathed around is now a cell ill use

meaning all the thoughts I know are not my own,

Meaning everyone I’ve met is crucial for my existence

the skin is constantly rebirthing itself in order to survive

My skin is made new once it has used the old

How I must carry the dead even in small fragments

Though eventually when enough time passes the lost cells will fill my lungs whole

And my vessel will tend the soil fertile and give way to another life

Meaning what has once passed will soon be


What has once passed will soon be



molecules sparking discovery,

Moments spent becoming..


Read more poetry here

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