this is a little something more. mouths wider than
june, irises green like chemical syrup. how long did
they wait before they burned all the air out of the
room? they torched white picket fences, wasteland.
they drank silver perfume right out of the bottle. what
i am trying to understand is how they cut black holes
out of gasoline, the kind they spilled but didn’t touch.
i don’t know how white teeth can get, but if i had to
guess, i would say until they aren’t real anymore. i would make
a bed and slick it with tar, not the way they did, not the way
anyone knew how to. i would tear at knots, tie them,
shred them. i knew exactly who they were. i knew
where they glued eyes to static, where they submerged
lungs into chlorine. it is better this way, they knew.
i knew where to find the mosquito bites and where bobby
pins turned into rain.
somewhere in the midwest, i watched children disintegrate into dust.
179 The Paris-American
Melissa Ho is a sixteen-year-old from Ellicott City, Maryland. She has been recognized by the Poetry Society of the United Kingdom, the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, and others. Her work has appeared in [PANK], Word Riot, and elsewhere.
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