top of page


by Betsy Sallee

Nobody moves when the fire alarm goes off.


What’s inevitable is my self-portrait.


No point in ducking, covering, incineration, best-case scenario.


Gas masks market themselves.


I close my eyes, I see empty sockets, or else, a deer on the side of the road.


I see bugs where you don’t.


Rain for the next seven days.


I medicate, repeat myself, I won’t go under water.


Blood in the Brita filter.


Months after the fact and I’m still bleeding where the needle went in.


Awareness of mortality, its own pathology, its own code in the DSM-5.


I cried during Kaddish, gave myself a pat on the back.


I want to want kids, I want to love god, can’t I get a pass for that?


I thought I was no one so I became no one.


I thought I was a deer in a mask so I became hunted.


You were a movie star with your gun pointed straight at the camera.


I was breathing, breathing, breathing, just like they tell you to do.

Betsy Sallee lives in New York City. Her work is forthcoming in No, Dear.



bottom of page