hobart logo
A Flower is an Example of Something I Would Like if I Could Slow Down photo


I had the milk from a dandelion all over my hands once in the sun and in the cracks of my palms and it was getting on my lunch, I kept thinking.

Once my mother painted my fingernails burgundy with glitter but the smell ruined my dinner three nights in a row.

When I got things stuck good under my nails my pulse got stronger until I sucked the salt out of the shiny pink blisters.

Once my mother taught me how to eat clovers where they're sweet where the tips are pink but there are pesticides here, usually.

There were two things I never told you.

Once I held my teeth shut so tight no one could get anything in me but chicken broth.

There were two times my parents had to force liquids into my body.

Once my mother held my eyes open in the bathtub while my father swore and cried.

Once I lay in the grass with dandelions while somebody's something-instrument practiced "Camptown Races."

I expanded my stomach as far as it would go and said "See?" and I mimicked my mother's laugh.

And lying in the grass I touched myself (like a boy) and something heavy and hollow shook through me somewhere.

And I went inside and hissed at the mirror
and hissed
at the mirror.




image: Tara Wray