The Horn of Plenty

My prescription is temporarily
out of stock. I ask when it will be
refilled. They don’t know. I sweat.

Have you ever noticed the way my
hands sweat, not building in beads
but trickles? Skin wrinkles in water
when blood vessels contract. No: I
think it’s my sweat carving canyons.

I burst a blood vessel once. In my eye,
blooming lake of blood: I imagined
that’s what war looked like, violence
contained in membrane and sclera of
eyes, the white milk cats lap up.

I pronounced sclera wrong in my head
the first time I read it: ska-leh-rah. It
rhymed with escalera, Spanish for stairs.

My mother told me bedtime stories of
naughty girls who fell sideways down
the stairs and cracked their heads open
like a cornucopia.

In Greek mythology, the cornucopia was
the Horn of Plenty, of the goat Amalthea,
nurse of baby Zeus. It bore fruits and honey
and grains, and you could stain your fingers
and stain your stomach ripened.

Her stomach was ripe and I tried to feel
for a baby’s kicks but she said my touch
was inappropriate. I reached out again
and she slapped my hand away and I
reached forward and slapped her stomach,
a high five with the baby’s hand.

My hands are still sweating; I feel
the blood vessels bursting. What if
they push me down the stairs? Slap
me in the womb? I need my prescription.
Where is the Horn of Plenty?

Natalie Hampton is a rising junior at the Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in the Creative Writing Department. She has been recognized at the National level of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and by Ringling College of Art and Design. She serves as an editor at Polyphony Lit and Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine. When she isn’t writing, she likes to volunteer, work in activism, and play soccer.

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