13:2: “Princess”, by Lynette Mejía

13:2: “Princess”, by Lynette Mejía

This is my love letter to the world
to spring
to wildflowers
growing in cold mud.
This is my contribution to air,
to the liquid core,
to fluid hearts lost among brambles and forgetful
fathers.

In the bare places where even the weeds have died
I shape the earth, squeezing it through bloody
fingers and itchy, aching toes. I start small, making
pies and wedding cakes, passing
time, eating the dust that settles
in my hair. In autumn I build castles
with ramparts and walls
fortified with old cigarette butts,
with twigs, with trash
and bits of metal.

Once, I was the apple
of someone’s eye, fruit gone ripe
and then some, my flesh a temple
of understanding. Now I am part of you,
a billion carbon fragments afloat
on a sea of brown grasses
unraveling like strands of braided hair.
When I breathe now it’s with the breath of deserts,
hot wind moving sand into recycled monuments,
flowing past my history, and
burying my testament in rust.


Lynette Mejía writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror prose and poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Goblin Fruit, Dreams & Nightmares, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium, and Star*Line. She is currently working on a master’s degree in English Literature at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. She lives in the middle of a fairy tale forest in Carencro, Louisiana with her husband, three children, six cats, one dog, one rat, and one fish. She says:

This piece was inspired by my childhood, growing up poor in rural Louisiana. One of my earliest memories is of playing in a makeshift sandbox my father made for me, which was really more dirt than sand. I played there nearly every day, dreaming about the fairy stories he read to me each night before I fell asleep. They are bittersweet memories now, but precious to me because I believe those days were the genesis of my lifelong love of reading and writing.
 


Photograph of hoarfrost in Niedersachsen, Germany, by Daniel Schwen, is provided under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.



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