In this search of a thousand shoes, the girl called myself has been in many. She has a heightened compassion, and a sense of purpose that not I, but life, has instilled in her. It does not happen all at once, and nothing does, but she is a series of messy sketches I will never get rid of. 


I have been told that my skin is too


that I shatter like porcelain, 


And though that is true that I am easily taken by a 


I am no speck of dust,

But a dandelion seed.

It is when swept away that I create, 

it is when I am buried that I shift earth

with my own two outstretched arms

And when it rains? 

I shoot sprouts of flowers

into the air 

The thing about me, 

Is that I may look as fragile

As my fluffy petals of pale yellow 

But my roots grasp the ground. 

My strength is there, 

Beneath the grass, 

Beneath the surface. 

- Alanna Cahill



By Alanna Cahill

They tell you not to go back 

to what hurt you 

that it is a sign of


But this world 

hurts me everyday 

And I 


go back 

I am not as weak 

as you think 

I have been practicing vulnerability 

by choosing seats where my back has to face other than just the wall behind me.

My eyes still dart sometimes, so I adorn my sunflower pupil doodles in rows of tiny ink petals. If

you watch the lines of my pen, they wiggle until they tremble, until they are smooth. 

- By Alanna Cahill


He is the kindest creature

I have seen in months 

And his eyes go far away 

When he talks of cities, 

And the places he will be 

So I 

Pretend not to notice

The way he 

Pockets the pennies

That have fallen between 

Us and the crevices

Of the cab seat

- by Alanna Cahill


I was once one noticed like dust 

Visible only to those with minds blank

And eyes astray,

Pathless, floating, resting

Easily disturbed 

I was once an artist of that kind.


I was once the devils chandelier 

That lit like shocks, and instilled fear 

I laughed and grinned, but did not smile

I counted my sins on sanded skin,

And blades of finger nails.


I once cried tears of gasoline,

And lived holding bones of popcorn kernels

Unsettled and stung by heats violet fire 


Fluffed and light, wide opened eyes

A confused smile, a face that masked spite

I was once a disaster of that kind


I once wore shoes that did not fit 

And balanced diamonds on my wrist

I once adorned myself in pearls

And hung expensive leather 

from my wrist,

I was once a hanger of that kind


But like all versions that have crossed,

What becomes always comes to die


And perhaps who I am

Is ill defined 

By single statements and single faces

So I do prefer to reference my past of

Contradictory extremes


And her, and her, and me 


-Alanna Cahill 

© 2021 Alanna Cahill. All Rights Reserved.