The girl who melted soup from trees, arms flailing, soft pink
toes pointed. Last summer, a grown man told you that your
palms looked like medicine, tasted like a locked bathroom.
You spoke to God, felt your lips read virgin, your hips cap
knives. He didn’t know what you did when you hid your coif
in the bedroom drawer. You laughed at the wine in the gas
station, said that if you drank it warm, maybe you would meet
someone like a black hole. Maybe you’d watch women turn into
birds, necks carved into fishing hooks. The man waits silently
in a forest, fists curled into lanterns. He tells you he doesn’t
gamble, not on girls like you. You step closer, think about
the hot tin in your ears, the lemon wedged firmly under your
tongue. You remind him that you once burned a cross into
your neck, smiled once at the flames, devoured them. Abigail,
this was making bloody knees into an idol, eyes too bare
to blink twice.
180 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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