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  • Samira Burnside

The Weight 2: Seconds of Light in an Exploded Skull

This is a poem written by Milo Paul. It is one of three in a series that will be published weekly on Thursdays.

Milo Paul (anything but he/him) is a musician hailing from D.C. where they are a member of multiple bands, including garage outfit Fleabath, post-punk group Other Victorians, and their folk-punk solo project Thee Trashcan. Subsequently, most of their social media is thee_trashcan, so look that up wherever and you’ll probably find them!

(A Photo of Milo Paul)


it’s in the corner of my room.

it snuck its way into my grandfathers mouth inbetween beers, through those beers, in visions of oncoming enemy soldiers transpiring from the quiet of the night,

reflected in glass bottles. he sank, and the weight killed him.

it’s in my aunt’s slightness, reported by blood-kin as unusual, unnatural, un-her.

it finds itself inside my grandmother’s hate, the bitter taste of communion wafers doused in wine shining through, overcoming her intelligence, commanding it, compelling it. she’s a hurt immigrant who hurt my mother about it, and now it’s in her daughter.

i hear my mother cry for her father in the quiet of the night, as he did for his mother after the war.

sometimes i think i’ll never be more than the sum of the damage.

sometimes it eats at me and shows up on the scale. sometimes it totals my common sense and runs me through the numbers, the statistics, the mortality rates.

it roars in my head with the coming of dawn and the subsequent slides into nocturne.

my diet is sour blood.

i shudder to think of a life without it.

my bones brittle, i’ve no stones for nuanced thinking, i dance around logic and cut my teeth on burned bridges.

i’m going to sink. the weight is going to kill me.

it’s on my shoulders, it’s in my gun as i suck the barrel.

i take the load off fanny.

hear it go off in me.


This poem was written by Milo Paul.

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