Truism by Lyd Havens

For a brief moment I want to be (w)reckless—
forget the weather, the smell of melted chocolate
& jewelry rust on my grandmother’s dying skin.
She said there were lemons growing out
of my mouth. She knew the fruit but not

my name. In the sun I am just another melting
thing. I smile at strangers with all my teeth.
I look up flights to Sydney, Marseilles, Billings.
What did Holzer carve once? Planning for the future

is escapism. I’ve run from emptiness before, but
not now. Not yet. My mother watched her mother die,
drove home, mopped the floors. Now I can’t smell
Pine Sol without wondering who else is gone.


Lyd Havens is the author of the chapbooks I Gave Birth to All the Ghosts Here (Nostrovia! Press, 2018) and Chokecherry (Game Over Books, 2021). Their work has previously been published in Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, among others. They live in Boise, Idaho. 

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, poetry, and creative nonfiction from marginalized creators.