Is nothing more than a warning
Age 6 face smothered into the neighbor’s cat

He shrieks and claws until I shriek higher

Thin line of sticky red


From my elbow, first scar
Reminding me: Be careful, gentle, soft

When blood

Is nothing more than a tangible form of grief
Age 16 the boy standing behind the theatre doors, blood pouring
between his knuckles and I wish I had known sooner
when someone dies you can just punch a white brick wall

When blood

Is a safe space
Age (Teens) it is
a whispered plea
for cotton

in my best friend’s kitchen

through bathroom stall

under classroom desk

When blood is a queer history lesson, I slit my ankle open on the balance beam and stare blankly when my coach says, “is it clean, your blood, is it clean”

Sydney Haas

Sydney Haas (she/they) is a writer and theatre artist based in Seattle, Washington. They spend as much time as possible next to a body of water or behind an espresso machine. She recently graduated from Seattle University with a degree in English and Theatre, and is excited to see where life takes her next. You can find their work in Horse Egg Literary and more at their website, www.sydneymhaas.com.

Contributions by Sydney Haas