poetry by olivia testa


Olivia is a brave little toaster. A student living in Austin, Olivia loves bugs and bones and dry glue on her hands. She is a perpetuator of Wonder, a dying art. Her efforts have opened doors to words, and writing about what she knows. And what she knows is not a lot, but just enough. She altogether loves and lacks in written poetry, prose, and outward nonsense that she hopes someone will inwardly connect with. Olivia believes that laughing at yourself is never not appropriate. That some rules are bogus, and just shouldn’t be followed. That karaoke is really only fun for the person singing, but that dancing is fun for everyone. Olivia wants everyone to know that sometimes she doesn't brush her teeth, and she “thinks that is gross”. And that she doesn't believe in magic, but that she believes in calling people magic. In her lifetime, she has had the pleasure of meeting, reading, and listening to magic women who make being a female, magnetic, fun, and beautiful. Her lifetime has been not a lot, but just enough. Olivia is twenty-two. One day, she hopes to write a book, to use “tout suite” in a sentence, and to make people feel welcome.

these poems are the first in a 4 week series we will be sharing on the blog.



It is January. I didn’t ever think, that I would be here in time

And on time

And between time

Many times, the world has broken before me.

There are the glass moments offered at your feet, and all the open cuts kissing fingertips, saturating nail beds.

You had felt the surface of The World. She had existed.

The life blood drips you dry. And you bleed slow, before the crowd.
A whitewashed ceiling of faces,

of those

with hands,

with softer meanings.

A boy broke the world.

It wasn’t his fault.

Because it was All mine.


She hadn’t been the One,

The One that I knew.

I had fathered Her,

from my own grey matter.

The gay kind;

that indulge Life,

And spit the seeds into small coin purses,

that won’t be touched.


I woke to a text message from my Dad.

“Do you think you are depressed?”


I responded in my mind. I spoke the words over, and over, again.

Till they blackened my mind, and sleep could not rub them away.


Do you feel like each rebirth, is song and dance?

That every savior, is the sum of what made you feel like you needed saving?



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I suppose, I am prone to dreaming.

I dream aliens are in the bayou

I dream of praying before a redwood, and her swallowing me up.

A worship of women, in nothing but nightgowns

Of a symphony that cried me into this world, and rocked me in a quilt

of celestial stars.

I dream of drunken, pink-stained lenses

I dream of wet hair dripping from lily pads,

that The Earth is flat.

Star-crossed lovers, Lake Water whispers to her Sun.

A flood of suits rolling down lofty clover hills

Empty white tents, for napping seraphim

And dipping a honey moon into Earl Grey.

Claw foot bathtubs, filled with sea glass,

sun-bathing before a black sea

I dream of climbing atop an old tug boat, and being his eyes

A wooden home, China-blue.

Small talk, squeaking like rubber from wax lips

A single man, making All weep

The smell of fire, stealing a wife from her husband.

Being the Queen of Waffle House,

and sleeping in a hollowed canoe.

Pockets full of acorns, and barrels full of buttons

Being born with tattoos, and shedding them like the serpent.

Bathing, eating, breathing Red Earth

Eyes that cloud, and overflow.

Snare drums beating life into corpses

Trains cracking bones to dust,

Dust tending Earth, and Earth being pleased.

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A blessing of blood oranges

Pine, the most handsome man I’ve known.

Buttery Magnolia flowers

and Baby Moses, lost on a lazy river

A shower of citrus mist, awakening

Light, holding your hand into tomorrow.

I dream of bats melting into deep purple

Of sunflowers stretching their necks to see the whites of our eyes.

It is almost, tragic. It is fixedly, prophetic.

Endowed, and still fallen.

I suppose, I am prone to dreaming.



on love

Love is so much that we cannot see, or feel, or perceive. 

Love is much more than binding of words, than concrete. 

Love is understanding

Love is patient

Love is forgiving

Love is wonder, and certainty. 

It is an angry shaking of fists.

Or silence.


Love is impractical, inconvenient.


Love is plain


Love is spilled milk, and tears.

Love is an empty bed, and a full home

Love is honesty

Love is boundary

Love is shared disappointment.

Love is standing, for those to sit.

Love is the connection of strangers, enemies;

Of equals. 


Love is ears, and eyes.


Love is hands

that search for humanity 

Love is lost sleep 

Love is peace in your best, 

In others'. 


Love is warmth, or the cold


Wealth, or poverty.

Love is rain, as much as it is sun.

Love is receiving, as much as it is giving.

Love is just

Love is teaching

Love is holding the broken-spirited.

Love, is a Father,

who crucified his very Son.


Love is much more than comprehension


or feeling.

Love is a faithful choice—

To listen, to learn, to share.

Love is a willingness to fall

Love is the greatest fear,

the greatest comfort.

Love is much more than warm kisses

Than warm bodies

And words to our sweet tooth. 

Love is beyond story, or chance, or blue moons.

I don't want a love of lips, or skin, or song

A quickening heart,

or a drowsy drug.

If that is all we're worth,

then what is all this heart for?

What is all this pain for?

If that is love,

then split my heart in two.

There is no reason for it to be whole.

You see, I have walked the road to romance,

I have waved at its sinking End

But beyond is a horizon,

a limitless footpath of Love.

I stumble along

And Her end is nowhere in sight.

Maybe I don't know love.

Maybe I don't know.

but suppose bloodied hands and a crown of thorns is Love,

then I have to imagine

we are drowning in it


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