By Alyssa Walker

after Victoria Chang

Gladly bid farewell to Toxic friendships
No more vampiric sucking of your essence
or half-listening to fantastical fabrications
incessant and made solely to impress
What’s more impressive is the sigh of relief
when released from those shackles
the sudden spritz of energy when
adrenaline gives wings to my ankles

No longer wasting and withering in your grimy transparent embrace

Do not grieve the loss of this well-known companion
We released them gladly into the ether, free of constraints

Grief had grown tired of repetition, it wanted out of the marsh in which it wallowed

Unhealthy work habits died a death
the day I stood up and said no more
Working animals get to rest
why not me
No more favours or guilt trips
or working fingers to the bone

Candles are only meant to be lit on one end

Alyssa Walker

Alyssa (she/her) is a queer poet and healthcare professional living in the West Midlands with her two biggest fans; her nesting-partner Joel, and their kitty Jiji. Her work has appeared in OYD, Dawntreader, Free the Verse, Scran and Gastropoda, with her debut performance taking place at the 2022 Wolverhampton Literature Festival. The achievement she’s most proud of though? Her pancake recipe.

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