Hereditament

I.

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

 

II.

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

 

III.

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”: http://secretmint.blogspot.com/2013/04/hereditament-flash-anthology-no-2.html)

Published by

mellielib

Melissa Eleftherion is a writer, a librarian, and a visual artist. She is the author of field guide to autobiography (The Operating System, 2018), & nine chapbooks, including the forthcoming trauma suture (above/ground press, 2020). Born & raised in Brooklyn, Melissa now lives in Mendocino County where she manages the Ukiah Library, teaches creative writing, & curates the LOBA Reading Series. Recent work is available at www.apoetlibrarian.wordpress.com.

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