Olivia Ann O’Reilly

Free Verse ReVolution

my malignant grammar’s
early days,
of fifty page literary
essays on
juvenile outrage,
my Saturday guardians
urged my pen
to acquiesce to
social standards.

Stop pandering to
they quipped,
framing their rejection
in little, funny
I use to pay
lip service

And I quote them
for stoking my fury,
helping to
get the
embers burning.

And there was
a girl who sat
beside me
in school-

Olivia Ann O’Reilly

-her caretakers as
psychotic, tried to
keep her
sexuality a
secret but
then lost it.

I’d never seen her
so much as jot a
just retch that
foul sadness
from her

They found
her ten years later,
hanging from
a sewer drain.

In the rain,
no doubt,
that had just been
dying for
downpour for ages.

Now I look
back through
emotionally damaged

like a sage
reviewing the
cage that granted him

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