Origin Stories – Anastasia Walker

Origin Stories
Before You Fall
    Before You Fall
    by Anastasia Walker

                                                                imagine: 2k
    skyward, 30 molten stories
                                                               sirens smoke & uniform

    frenzy below, but in your
				                                crow’s nest buffeted by

    the cleansing blue
                                             the skyline

    so clear so
					                                 choose to fly

		          beautiful, you
						                                                 before you fall

Origin Stories – Before You Fall

Like most lyric poems, this piece had its genesis in metaphor—the fusing of an emotion or cluster of emotions with an image, a memory, an event, or some combination of these—and the words that came were my attempt to give sound and shape to that fused compound’s internal dynamic.  Memories of living in NYC at the start of the new millennium teaching and in love and running from my long repressed gender identity found an echo in remembered stories of people leaping to their deaths from the Twin Towers in the lovely late summer morning of 9/11 before the buildings collapsed à In the conflicting lateral and downward movements on the page, their desperate choice and my giddy, stupid hope for a final reprieve from myself in a passion powerful enough to lift me above the gravitational pull of my own inner necessity.

“Before and After” appears in my book, The Girl Who Wasn’t and Is (bd-studios, 2022).


Maine native Anastasia Walker is a queer poet, essayist, and scholar living in Pittsburgh. Her poems have appeared in Gyroscope and several other journals, and her first book of poetry, The Girl Who Wasn’t and Is, was published in 2022. Her essays have been published in Shenandoah, Fourth Genre, and The Rambling. She has also blogged on politics, social media, and trans/LGBTQ+ issues for both Huffington Post and Medium. She’s a proud member of her community’s PFLAG chapter and Indivisible group, a passionate amateur photographer and musicologist, and a lover of long walks and (when she visits home in the summers) swimming in the ocean.

Blog: https://anastasiaswalker.blogspot.com/


Social media:

Instagram: staswalker22

Twitter: @staswalker22 [I have a more sporadic presence there]

Previous Origin Stories

April 1 – Wanda Praisner

April 2 – Howard Lieberman

April 3 – L. Shapley Bassen

April 4 – Sharon Scholl

April 5 – Stellasue Lee

April 6 – Jeanne DeLarm

April 7 – Virginia Smith

April 8 – Patricia Ware

April 9 – Mary Makofske

April 10 – Ann Wallace

April 11 – Jessica Purdy

April 12 – Lakshman Bulusu

April 13 – Kim Malinowski

April 14 – Anita Pulier

April 15 – Martha Bordwell

Previous NPM celebrations from Gyroscope Review

Let the Poet Speak! 2022

Promopalooza 2021

Poet of the Day 2020

Poets Read 2019

National Poetry Month Interview Series 2018

Book Links Party 2017

Other Links

About National Poetry Month

What is National Poetry Month?