Trio House Press
publishing distinct voices in poetry
since 2012

Break the Habit by Tara Betts

Tara Betts is the author of Arc & Hue and the chapbooks 7 x 7: kwansabas and THE GREATEST!: An Homage to Muhammad Ali. Tara received her Ph.D. at Binghamton University and her MFA from New England College. In addition to performing her poems across the country and internationally, Tara’s poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including POETRYGathering GroundBum Rush the Page, Villanelles, both Spoken Word Revolution anthologies, The Break Beat Poets, Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements and GHOST FISHING: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology.Tara has taught writing at Rutgers University, Binghamton University, and University of Illinois-Chicago. She is a Cave Canem alum.

Letting Go


An effluvium of balloons floats

from her throat in blood hues−

marrow, bone, bruise−fills skies

after escaping her esophagus.


This release into the air swells

into a flock of brutalities gathered,

a fatal storm released by deserting

hands that will rounded foreboding

with helium, last gasps of gas, cinched

tears, a crew of screams crowding clouds.


Even in this severing, there is reprieve

that contradicts her skinned raw organs

transformed into bright breathy release.