Tag Archives: Sarah Bean

Allergen Immunotherapy and Me

By Sarah Bean

The pharmacist fills me
full of lethal liquid,
tells me to stick around for half an hour. 
I stare at the boxes lining the counter—
Aerius, Benadryl, Claritin, Reactine,
(my childhood drugs of choice)
as the grandmas and grandpas yell around
the plexiglass for their inhalers,
pulling their masks below weak chins
to bare their teeth to anyone who will watch.
I feel the serum course
through my bicep,
subcutaneous sticky sweetness bringing 
sunny day serendipity.
I am twenty two, I can finally breathe
out of my nose, 
and spring is now my favourite season.
Feeling full of anything
still feels so new,
still makes me check my cheeks for hives,
makes me clear my throat to keep it open,
and when I think of the past,
it makes my tongue swell
(so I try to save those thoughts
for when that’s not a sign of adverse reaction) 
but sometimes I can’t help it. 
The beach dads in their flip flops
stocking up on Banana Boat and scratch-offs
look so free, 
because they can get out
of this sterility whether the walls like it or not. 
My armpit turns sunburn red,
blotchy with jealousy and birch trees.
I tell myself that one day 
I won’t come here anymore. 
My body will be full to the brim
with that which can kill me
and it will keep me safe. 
I watch a baby smile 
at the pharmacist without knowing 
what comes next.


Sarah Bean (she/her) is a library technician and poet from Alberta, Canada. Her work has appeared in Goats Milk Magazine, The Giving Room Magazine, and in zines photocopied at her local library. She thanks you for being gentle. 

My Mother Doesn’t Let Me Say the Word Nipple

By Sarah Bean

A sunspot lens flare, or
a grapefruit in hand at the corner store,
the teat a lifeblood spout
suckled on the tongue, or
a garden pebble
between the gums 
of a gleam in my eye.
I say whether sustenance or
sensory madness,
open wide and let me raise
Gods from my bosom. 
Thank me with a grin and
buy me a daisy dug
from the dirt. Pluck
each petal from its raised 
center and whisper
feed me, 
or feed me not
and place the frond at the back
of my throat. 
I say whether they
half domes of domesticity or 
domination, give me
gifts from every person 
who has ever licked budding
blossoms and thought of
nothing more. 
Let me scream a sound 
for nipple like a child 
with no other word
for love. 
Let me birth sin from my ribcage
and call it noblewoman,
call it royalty,
call it mine.


Sarah Bean (she/her) is a library technician and poet from Alberta, Canada. Her work has appeared in Goats Milk Magazine, The Giving Room Magazine, and in zines photocopied at her local library. She thanks you for being gentle. 

Tessellations

By Sarah Bean

I heard there’s a hole in the sky—  
our very own kaleidoscope,
turning shop windows into fire-starters
and trees into tessellations.
Turning the beautiful into breakable,
climate crisis and heartache 
all too familiar.

I’ve still got pictures of you 
(more than I’d like to admit).
Your smile, a punch to the teeth, but I’m
still laughing through my bloody gums,
begging you to tell me lies instead of secrets
because I know too much and somehow too little
and just want to hear you say I love you again.

I’ve almost earned myself a degree in daydreaming,
imagining possibilities and patterns and predicting our outcomes
but it seems that I failed the final. 
Failed to see this blindspot,
failed to factor in your feelings
(or lack thereof)
instead of my own.

So now there’s a hole in the sky,
and I can’t help but wonder if you see it too.
I taped prisms together,
turned them into rose coloured glasses,
tried to see the world through brand new eyes, but 
it turns out red flags can’t look like red flags 
when they look too much like art.


Sarah Bean (she/her) is a library technician and poet from Alberta, Canada. Her work has appeared in Goats Milk Magazine, The Giving Room Magazine, and in zines photocopied at her local library. She thanks you for being gentle. 

If You Give a Girl a Pocket Knife

By Sarah Bean

The night we slept in a tent full of stars,
I learned how to use a knife.
How to hold it in my palm, just so,
how to slowly carve layers of life away,
revealing newborn green hidden from onlookers. 

The night we drank the sky’s tears,
I learned how to get in touch with roots.
How to connect to the soil and
facilitate rebirths.
Learned how to sharpen myself to a point,
to turn my canines deadly,
bite back at girl-shaped wolves, 
puncture jugulars to learn my left and right,
my soup spoon a sword.

The night we set the world on fire,
I learned how to tie knots in my tongue to keep from combusting.
How to fashion it around my prepubescent wrist,
lick my own wounds and develop a taste for salt. 
Learned that safety comes with silence, 
and that my knife couldn’t leave the grove.
Found a blade of grass for the trip home, 
kept the handle held in the back of my mind.

The night I buried myself in the forest, 
I learned how to wield a dagger made of flowers.
How to stick it in my bosom for safe keeping, 
to whittle myself down, cut off my offshoots, 
scrape off my bark.
To be just big enough to fit in wheel wells—
to be seen and not heard.

In that tent full of stars,
I learned how to use a knife.
How to ward off enemies in a fighting stance,
firmly planted and prepared,
and I earned the badge for best technique.


Sarah Bean (she/her) is a library technician and poet from Alberta, Canada. So far, her poetry has only appeared in zines that she photocopies at her local public library. She thanks you for being gentle.