Ostara, 2016/ Bri Mellott

It is early spring when we throw the windows open
And sleep, bare-assed, on the tile floor
Several feet below the house your father built
You want to fill the whole room up with water
Like a kiddie pool, wading up to our ankles
I laugh, and worry you will do it

The room is still thick with the heat of woodfire
And I know it will get cold again before the summer
When your neck will burn and more freckles will appear
in the crook of your throat than stars visible
above the hazy, buzzing lights of downtown

In the summer I will eat nothing but fruit
Let the soft flesh slide down my throat
And into my belly where it will rot
Until I am fat and round with seeds
I will grow a garden from my armpits
And wear nothing but dresses made of cotton
But in the spring, there is no fruit to eat, only flowers.

The pollen descends like biological weaponry,
Sinks into our softest flesh like teeth,
Coats us with the afterbirth of flowers
And fills us with snot, and an itch to dig
I dig deep, deep into the soft earth
And come up with worms and dirty fingernails
Wipe my running nose and my watery eyes
Sneeze effluvium into the atmosphere
And plant collards into the bed we have made
The bed we will sleep in, chewing lazily on the sun

When the pregnant clouds break
Rain will wash the pollen from the air
And make fractals on the pavement
I will draw in them with my bare toes
and feel the weft of your fingers
I will lie warm and safe on the earth
And feel at home in my dirt covered skin


23550370_10212397574148953_2768647214586394579_oBri Mellott is a Wilmington, NC-based poet and artist, she works two jobs to support her gardening habit. Much of her work is an attempt to parse her love of the beautiful southern American landscape with its long, trudging history of oppression.




Header Image: Creative Commons, Public Domain, modified.

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