“Moments,” “Outside My Yard,” and “Affectionless” by Sarah Largosa

Posted: December 31, 2014 in Vol. 6: Fall Essays 2014

Momentssnowflakes

A snowflake appears on your palm,
look away
and now it’s gone. Wait.
Try again.
Watch an ice crystal fleck
the valley of your hand with the blade
of a Tundra swan’s down
that cuts a groove into
the pit of your skull. You blink
from the scene and then it’s gone.
Focus. Stay.
Hear a nymph whisper
a microscopic scilla
into the troposphere—
it strums the roundwound strings of stars
with a pirouette of extended arms until
it embraces your open fist,
tickles, itches, bores into you, travels
up your bloody valves
to the nucleus of your ghost. Then
its body decays from the steam
of your hand-bound fissures,
just a splash lapping
at the edge of neurons.
Turns to vapor, and it’s gone.
See the slush ocean at your feet—
all the snowflakes
you couldn’t keep.

Outside My Yard

Grass in my yard greets my naked soles,
fills me with the warmth
of a newly laid
chicken egg,
my stomach caressed
with dandelion fluff,
and sunflowers I’ve grown
look down at me
from the rooftop height with golden ray petals
reflecting light brightening
my face. Pebbles in the range
of my shuffling toes
inflict no scars, their presence
only known as brief pink indents
that I don’t bother
to bandage.
Garden path stones like checker pieces
laid down by my guardians are
itchy to stand on, stings
if jumped on, a place to build
my mud towers.
But the path
to the sidewalk outside
our lava rock walls
is riddled with my clumsy steps. It juts
into my front yard like a
thick
slab
of lightning
that crackles
against my calluses.

If I want to eat
a McDonald’s
ice cream cone
I need to tie my feet up in rubber
to ward off
the flame and jagged points
of asphalt and concrete, too much
for me to bear and still
I’m punctured by the glares and gleams
of cars and houses passing by
until my retinas ache,
until the thought of shaking off
these artificial soles
flood my mind with rustles
of wiggling toes.

Affectionless

Pale yellow and white
like teeth untouched
by cosmetics,
simply aged
with consuming over time
flickers and floats,
weaving through the empty spaces
of a tall, skinny sharp stalk—
alligator skin gray.
She flounders through the air,
slapping herself
onto its jagged, limp leaves,
then careening up into the oxygen
high above,
only to zigzag back
into the path of thorns again
and again she smells nectar,
but finds none
to soothe her shriveled tongue.

Written for Dr. David N. Odhiambo’s ENG 491: Senior Project

Comments
  1. Claus Nolte says:

    Great poetry, I appreciate it very much !

    >

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