Vacant Underground

Allison Grayhurst


Vacant Underground


No sales clerk

or hand to count coins.

A wish is like a wave that breathes,

hunting with the tide.

The sand is grasped but never held –

its form lost again in the unforgiving sea.

I had a wish, jealous and absolute.

It took my days like a nunnery and

discarded all urban vice.

It was my only footwear, my mornings

of praise and exalted sighs.

It caused my bones to snap like a dry crust of bread

and left my innards excavated, desperate for anything else.

This wish has never died, though for a decade it has been

beaten down. It walks beside me, deformed and chained.

I own it and it owns me, as we walk, born as one.



Copyright © 2004 by Allison Grayhurst




First published in “October Hill Magazine Spring 2017 “, June 2017


October Hill Spring…

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