Thursday, 29 December 2016

Seeds

by Marlee Cox

I.
After she climbed the maple, the one
which spit its samaras into the Midwestern
autumn breath, we split for the night— just for the night—
to separate suburban sprawls. We knew each way
home and back again.

II.
Rich red lolls down my thigh, spurred by the
lilt of my run. The city found its heat wave. Stenches
of softened tar and hot lilacs rise from the
streets and swarm me. Gnats attack the sweat at
my temples and nape. Whatever. I’ll never go back to ordering my coffee on ice.

III.
She fears only girls who burn themselves, and I
am dry desert fire.

Baby, I’ve got welts.

There are more punishing ways to bleed, surely, than
from my depths while jogging.

IV.
I wish they wouldn’t stare at me on
the train. Stage fright brings my hands to a tremble, stirring my iced coffee
into a riot. Condensation dribbles down my wrist
like summer’s blood.

If God
stranded us at sea, she would know the proper things to do. She would warn me against
saltwater.

She would be the
smart one—she, unflinchingly, would eat my liver. Raw.


She, surely, would make it home.


* * * * *

Marlee Cox at age 15 won one of the Glass Woman Prize awards in 2011 for her story "Collapse."