Myles Taylor’s “Poem with only a little bit of sacrilege” and Marie Ungar’s “Hypochondria”

poem with only a little bit of sacrilege
Myles Taylor
I wanna be like the heroes in the movies
but every time I drop something I instinctively
jump out of the way / I don’t know how to re-wire
self-preservation but without it I might not survive
long enough to be in the position to help / I’m here
on borrowed time, as all of you have figured out,
I’m sure / I feel like the parrot in the back of the pet store
on my block that is obviously a mob front, like,
I just keep seeing unspeakable horrors
but I can only repeat the same few words and none of them
really encapsulate my feelings / a couple of them are
“wild” and “toxic” and the others won’t mean anything
to you if you’re anyone I want reading my poems / god
is a girlboss who keeps promising me a raise
and I really don’t want to know how the clothes
are made / this is why I’m not in therapy / I’ve been good
for too long / let my chaos expand until I implode
into a rebirth / every day will feel like the summer
I slept on seven used mattress pads stacked
on someone else’s floor / my friend brought coronas
as a housewarming even though it most certainly
was not a house / nothing ever feels like a house anymore
/ I want to be singular and self-sustaining / like
the moon! / like the fucking moon / no like don’t even start with me
a man stumbled past me on my post-shift cig willing the train
to function properly and the moon was full and the sky was clear
and the man was incoherent yelling “stinky!” over and over until
he looked up and crystal clear went “oh, the moon.”
and that’s the power of the moon, baby! / an all-ages event!
a birthday party! / stop writing about the moon,
boring people yell, and the poets pick up pitchforks
and yell an indistinguishable battle cry / we clash /
but no one gets hurt about the moon / truly what else
can I live for when all I see out of my window
is a car dealership and oppression and the moon?
the fucking moon / just good vibes and one piece
of American trash / just like me / just like me
* Writing Prompt: List 3 words you find yourself saying or writing a lot lately. Write about one or more of the words. Where did you first hear them? Whose influence do they show? What do they have in common?

Marie Ungar

I went to bed worried my hands would fall off and woke up
with both my hands. The sheets gently touched them
just to remind me they were there. I used them to turn off my alarm,
lace my shoes, twist the faucet’s handle. In other news,
I’ve started running again. It gives me space and a way to think.
On my run the other morning, I came across a castle.
I’d expected to find something unexpected by now,
so I was unsurprised, but happy. I texted you a picture.
“I found a castle!” I said, and just like that,
you were still someone I’d text about a castle, or a river, or a sky,
or a bad day I didn’t have anything to say about, or falling snow,
or the long walk home from the liquor store where I didn’t know
what to buy for a friend’s birthday. The days had been getting shorter,
and I was becoming frightened, the kind of person who darts across the street,
even when no traffic is coming. But yesterday,
I went to bed worried I would fall out of love and woke up
still in it. The sky shone through a river of falling snow.
I am telling you this not because it was unexpected, or surprising,
but because I was so happy. To still be in love. To still see the sky.
To still have hands and somewhere to place them.

Previously published in Lake Effect (Volume 26, Spring 2022)

* Writing Prompt: Write about a moment in which something not happening—or nothing happening—felt like a pivotal event.

Myles Taylor (they/he) is a transmasculine poet, organizer, host, award-winning poetry slam competitor, food service worker, Emerson College alum, Capricorn-Aquarius cusp, and glitter enthusiast. Their list of publications can be found at, and their neuroses can be found on Twitter @mylesdoespoems.

Marie Ungar is a writer from Charlottesville, Virginia. She is currently studying English at Harvard University, where she has served as the poetry editor of The Harvard Advocate. Her recent work appears in Four Way Review, Palette Poetry, Lake Effect, and The Moth Magazine. You can find her on Twitter @mreeeungr