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fire escape hymnal

A fresh new poem by Nicolette Daskalakis

fire escape hymnal

Nicolette Daskalakis

We are making needlepoint pillows
and souvenir plates
of our faces.

Our yard sale record collection
sings the B side
of Star Spangled Banner.

Our earmarked poetry books spell out
with their spines.

Our freezer is filled
with organic raspberry chip gelato.
We know how to feed the tongues
that french us.

Who needs the Johnsons
when we have the junkie in 3B
that gives us free flowing sermons
and home brewed savoir-faire?

We sacrificed our lawns
for some damn fine succulents. 
They get natural light
between the hours of 9:15 and 11:30am
when the sun reaches our kitchen through the crack
between the two brownstones.

We are not afraid
to confront ourselves
in a bedroom the size of some people’s closet.
Maybe this is a closet
and we are just that much more holy.

We pray
to this television-free living room
knowing a cable bill is worth eighteen kombuchas
(or twenty-four when they’re on sale).

The dispensary is flowing
with our anxiety
and the need
to set fire to something other than incense. 

We parade down the halls
like it’s fourth of July
with our pants off, 
barricading fire escapes
with weekday, wine-drinking freelancers.

Remember to fly our paisley pants
so the thrift store teens can find us
on the rooftop,
look upward at our humble hands
strangling fears with string lights,
yelling futures
from mason jar megaphones.

They are coming.
They are coming.
They are coming
barefoot and brimming
with love
and copies of their latest zine.








Nicolette Daskalakis is an award-winning poet, filmmaker, and multi-media artist based in Los Angeles. She is the author of because you're now banging a French girl and All The Boys I Never Kissed. You can view her work at