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Convict Lake

Convict Lake

I’ve spent four nights here
In the woods of my despair
I lay in the grass where it’s damp, dark, and familiar
The moon is bright and the air
Quiet with the lonely chorus of my pain
For the course of this pain led me here
To the woods of my despair

I am here again, once more to begin from birth
I walk along the edge of the lake
Looking into the wavered reflection of
Who I am and who I had been
Reflections dissolved in waves pressed
To the shoreline and pressed against my cheek

I will find the flowers upon my altar
That have altered from the years
That I left them before

I hear birds and their songs of joy
A reminder that the morning is on its way
I sing with the birds
I sing with mercy

For I feel and I see
The expansion of my mind and the
Blossoming, once more, of my heart
And I lay another flower upon my altar
Until next time
The sun slowly rises upon the skies of skies
I am free until next time


Brian León is a Queer Latino poet & musician living in Los Angeles. Instagram: @brianleonmusic


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A zine for young people, by young people.

HopeIRL is a project of Hopelab, a nonprofit social innovation lab based in San Francisco that works with young people to co-create tech products that improve health and happiness. 

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