Trevor Allred


It’s Friday night and I’m lifting
again. No one needs me, and so
tonight I will become perfect.

There is nothing more true than this
iron. There is nothing more true
than how rotted I am inside.

No one is here. Someday,
someone will know
what it all means.

(But if I were perfect, I wouldn’t hurt. Where?
Where are they? Where are they? Where are they?)
I am earning the attention I need.

I am trying to die. I know
how the body works.
All muscle is scar tissue,
and I am immense.

Nothing can stop me.

I don’t have the confidence for a razor blade.
I’m too patient. I commit myself
to bleed out by a thousand shouts.

I am decidedly tearing myself open. I know
I am trying to die until someone understands.

Let the weight down.

It’s Friday night and you’re lifting
again, alone in the backyard. Somewhere
you learned you can work for love.

Only the rusted weight speaks to you.
And it agrees, there is no other way than burning.
So you chose to stay home.

Each cut they’ll never know.
Someday someone will see you. Your body
carries the anguish you mold into physique.
Someday someone will know what it means.

The fantasy is ready: she will catch you
alone and furious one day, lay a hand
on your iron back or your callused arms,
and you will tell her, without words:
“I am a body of scars.”

Let the weight down.

Here is what you don’t see: your body
takes care of itself when you give it the right time.
Here is what you don’t see: you want
pity not love.
You think people owe you kindness.

You will learn you don’t control as much
as you think. Learn yourself first.


Trevor Kaiser Allred is a writer, arts advocate, and community builder. He has collaborated with many artists working as the Community Manager at 1888 and as a poet at The dA Center for the Arts. While earning his Master’s in creative writing and critical theory at Cal State Fullerton, he mentored numerous students and campaigned for foreign language learning. You can read about his work and latest projects at or keep in touch on Twitter or Instagram.