i draw a prayer from my gut & skip it
like a stone among tardy stars who missed the bus
en route to the sunrise. i whisper at these car
windowpanes & the moon looming over
the horizon like in San Francisco, when i coiled
tongue like trolley cables & suspension bridges,
perfect to drop toothpicks into steel cylinders
after plucking dill from the gap between teeth. i
wonder if everyone sees pride flags in the
ghost of sunset. i wonder who else
blinks twice & shrinks against their sunspotted retinas
as the moon is shrouded by clouds.
sometimes it feels as if love is a carcinogen
& space is something to take up in moderation:
strain it with a slotted spoon.
sometimes rib cages are plateaus & four
geologists are sent to take samples &
hack at ossein with hatchets.
sometimes living is performing & stage lights slice
through oiled thighs like sutured gashes,
needles sterilized in the gas fireplace.
my father takes my hand, guiding it up the exoskeleton of a valley oak. my fingers snag on the spinal chords of ivy & he watches as i tie a bow around my index finger with the stem, a botanical corpse.
he picks up his shears & saws at bough until the bark can breathe once more. ivy is a parasite, he says, & the prettiest things are often the most fatal. i glance at my finger, with the stalk snaking up from the webbing between my fingers.
i learn that love has a price. i learn that finding love, or even finding out who you love, is no easy feat. i learn how to smell flowers without ever hinging at the hip.
myself, in numbers:
- 2 cheekbones, sunken into flesh
- trillions of blood cells
- 3 eyes, if you count the hurricane in my chest
- 4 limbs
too many shallow breaths to count
maybe life is not linear & instead
decrescendos in time with
clock hands & limelight.
Mia Golden (she/her) is a teen poet from California. She is published or forthcoming in Blue Marble Review, Kalopsia Literary Journal, and Indigo Lit. Mia enjoys observing the world around her with a creative eye, often through poetry or photography. She hopes you have a wonderful day!