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application for the position of survivor

by Phoenix Tesni

This is the morning you regrow wings. Here is the place

the sun shines, and the clouds bump into each other so often


it feels like hugs. Somewhere two little animals fall in love.

There is lightning striking a dandelion in a desert. These


are the two people whose veins entwined with each other

in the moment before they said goodbye. Five miles away


from the sea is a forest fire. Here is where I let go. I throw

a dart of love at you and it transforms to poison before


striking. Your hair is grass. Her hair is waves. My hair is

petals. There is so much beauty everywhere it spills. In


school a little boy learns of death. A church teaches sin.

The ocean is in flames. The sky turns to tar. Footsteps in the


dark. The stars melt and drip. Chaos disguises itself as poetry.

I am so happy it leaks out and i embody emptiness again.


The world is in colour. The colours burst into music. The music

silences itself. The future blossoms like a flower and wilts just


as quickly. This is how I fall out of love. My head shakes. Your

heart hammers. The world is watching closely, in detail. Here is the


same, sad look in their eyes because you’re never enough,

Here is where you apologize over and over at three a.m. to yourself,


crying. Here is where you learn to love yourself because somebody

has to; here is the place you learn to give love to everyone because


there’s enough sadness already and it has to begin somewhere. Here is

all the love you give to people and in the corner is what you refused to


take back. Here are all your childhood imaginary friends. Your talents,

to validate you. The compliments you saved in a folder catching fire.

Hidden in your heart is the elixir of survival. The eyelashes flutter.

Your lungs puff up. Your eyes are watered down. The secret is revealed:


you survive, you survive, you survive.

Phoenix Tesni (she/her) is a 22 year old self-diagnosed artist & poet from New Delhi. She has forthcoming works in Morning Fruit Magazine, Verum Literary Press, bloodbathhate, Sage Cigarettes, Cloudscent Journal, tigers zine lit, and elsewhere. When Phee isn’t writing, she likes to practice falling in love with life over and over again. You can find her at or @PhoenixTesni on twitter.

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