The closet is small enough
that when I go in with my book
my body is compressed on all sides.
I lean the pillow I brought
against the thin wood.
The flashlight makes the shadows
stronger, but now I can read about
a girl who escapes and saves the world.
I have nothing to escape from
except the toxic cloud
that my parents created downstairs.
I have nothing to save except
my own bloody fingernails, from myself.
Hannah Rousselot is a queer DC based poet. She has been writing poetry since she could hold a pencil and has always used poems as a way to get in touch with her emotions. She writes poetry about the wounds that are still open, but healing, since her childhood and the death of her first love. Her work has appeared in Voices and Visions magazine, PanoplyZine, and Parentheses Magazine. In addition to writing poetry, Hannah Rousselot is also an elementary school teacher. She teaches a poetry unit every January, and nothing brings her more joy than seeing the amazing poems that children can create.