Friday, April 12, 2013


In the garden

I water                        I watch

The lace-winged labor of play
The animals loll and swat at plants

Fur rubs the sidewalk
Camouflaged skins burrow inside
Fur lines the flesh light

In the gnawing chew             of sidewalk hum
I played street games

The sun a vector                                     I hid in the cool dark

Aimed cue ball at bruised knuckles
My father taught me

How to hurt
How to be pennies

On the fire escape             I grew like a dandelion
Greedy for pigeon talk and flowered skirts

I wanted to be a garden
So I doused myself with hosewater

Painted my arms with thorns
In the wandering dusk

How to be a fortress
Tenement of my red mouth

How to be quiet
Dig under the belly
Lift the stone slab

(from a writing prompt by Elizabeth Treadwell and anthologized in “Hereditament”:

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