Blood and Cost

The blood of my blood is my brother,

The cost of my sin is my lover.

Sacred is the line for which we all die

Lest victory meet us halfway.

One sign determines our fate:

Keep sharp your eyes,

With a pen at the ready,

For treaties are fickle treasures.

One wind can drive us away:

Winter is seldom sweet

To those who wish it farewell,

Seeing all and never backing down,

Much like how you wished to be

Before the seasons drifted out of reach.

Each new color means nothing in our wake.

That could not matter anymore;

We are blind from ambition and disease

We fight for our sight and our sanity –

And victory –

The blood of my form has yet to recover,

The cost of my pride is that of another.


Navigating an absence of Zs

My voice takes on a different tone at three in the morning

Robbed of sweet variation from the grog behind my eyes

and dispassionate to the spinning of the world just outside my closed curtains

A deep sound, like the one I’ve always heard bouncing between my ears

But missing something of my afternoon spark

It dances across the same note

With nothing on my mind except sleep deprived ramblings

and the motions of a heart that’s forgotten its rem stage choreography


Myself, a blurry portrait of a nightmare


Calling my lifeline to dreamland in a cold baritone,

I move past my fears in the silences and count sheep by his consonants

Breathing with the rhythm of white noise

and closing my eyes against an outline of the stars

There is nothing to do but think and listen

He tries for a smile in between my dreams of dreaming

As small as it might sound from the other end, I couldn’t fake it if I tried

Not when he calls me silly or laughs me softly toward feeling at home

Each minute rolls gently into its hour, a careful subtraction of my energy for the next day

But worth every second to feel alive in my stubborn awakeness




My fogged glasses

        slow down this choo choo train,

Frosting reality as we know it

        and dimming the colors

        to a dull fragment of their 20/20 portrait

These eyes see nothing

        but steam off of hot asphalt

        in the summertime

        The bottom of a hysteric waterfall

        Microwave fresh delights

        Tea kettle announcements

        Warm words on a cold window pane

        The music of a humid rainstorm

        Tear-hazy compositions

        Kisses for the sight-impaired

Seeing anything and everything

        from an annoyingly new perspective

And taking note of the world

        from behind a wall of clouded glass


while waiting for poetic inspiration to slap me in the face

receding blinds blinding

from the beyond beyond my window

the one that opens only a few inches

we all know why but it doesn’t meet

        the criteria of polite conversation

the trees outside seem static but I

know they change with the seasons

perhaps I look like that too to

someone who only sees the surface

fake flowers line the windowsill

silly me, thinking I could make

a forest wonderland in my sixth floor dorm

the one with a desk and a closet and drawers

and drawers and a carpet that hasn’t been vacuumed

since the dawn of man

at least, other than the single gnat that won’t

leave me alone, there is only

one living thing in this plastic jungle

just one reason to keep the window shut

Biographical Note: Mare Hiles is a senior at the University of Georgia, studying English, Women’s Studies, and French. She gets her (quite limited) talents from her parents and her writing ideas from the wild world around her, as well as from years of having her head buried in books. She hopes to attend graduate school and to never stop learning.