Holly Fortune Ratcliff
I, your body, wish you would brush our veins
with a fine-toothed comb and clear away
the matted expression of this being.
You are everything to me,
everyone. I’ve had this mixed privilege
of knowing the foreign objects you might choose
to insert inside of us in an attempt to untangle
this human condition that’s been so kindly lent.
Pour some nut milk onto wheat and pray
our existence is quiet. Harmless.
Listen to the sound of tooth extraction
and cringe at your sensitivity
as you are not brave, not irksome
enough to make a difference.
You are no storyteller but the primary consumer,
the target audience, for My Little Pony—
it’s the only evidence you’ve found that friendship
could ever be magic, could save us all (every pony).
There arrives this inability to keep dreaming,
to sleep and sleep and sleep. I’m your witness.
I’ve watched you turn on Cheers and shut out reality,
basking in the glow of eighties’ sanguine.
You’ve coffined away the possibility that night,
within a room, most times silent, is our eventual end.
Your mother asks you to plan.
Would you rather be buried? Burned?
As if it would happen just as the newspaper
still arrives on their wet lawn in cerulean plastic.
At least these bags live again as she
wraps them into tiny triangles,
tucks them into bed for reuse.
You tell her: a tree. We’d like to be leaves.
Sit under us. Eat sun. Bathe in rain.
How we would grow and grow.
Would some person picnic under us?
Would some pony nibble at our bark?
Holly Fortune Ratcliff resides in Austin, Texas where she crochets impractical tank tops. She writes about her family, grief, and complicated relationship with food as well as an empowered form of nature – one with realized thoughts and combined autonomy. She has work forthcoming in Lucky Jefferson. You can find her on social sharing slow, small snippets @hollythehare.