There is a word for the exact moment that you are suddenly very aware of your own heartbeat.
It sounds like the syncopated syllables of bare feet on sidewalk,
rain falling on piles of brown leaves
There is no word for caring intensely about the molecular makeup of the ground in front of you.
There is a word for the hypothetical conversations that you play out in your head.
All the things you would say to your legs if they would listen:
Why are you so pale?
What is the point of running
if you’re not going to get any thinner?
How do we make each other
There is no word for loss.
There is a word for the feeling of frustration that you can only inhabit one place at a time.
You have to be in the kitchen
or out of it,
you can only put out one fire at once
but you have enough water
to turn them all to piles of smoking char.
There is a word for the feeling of being inside during a thunderstorm.
You think you might know it, but even when
you are pressed into bodies so sweaty
that their beads of salt sting your eyes,
there is no one to ask,
you are still
There is no word for you. But they choose one anyway.
where i’m from
it doesn’t ever
the only coffee brand is called “thunder”
and we sprinkle the grounds
on our morning
where i’m from, all our pants
or leather leggings.
our favorite color is red
like the reflection of a wolf’s eyes at night.
we don’t let anyone call us baby.
where i’m from there is no wine,
we collect the bottles and throw them
at our windows,
enjoy the spiderweb splatter.
the glass can’t protest,
is compelled to
where i’m from we have knives
tattooed on our shoulders,
for every time
we’ve bled out.
we light fires by squeezing
our fists and
in our palms.
i collect the egg shells.
in this world they are illegal fractures,
that no longer fit.
i keep them hidden
in my pillowcase
next to a brown-edged peony petal
and a bluebird’s cobalt feather.
Isabella Barricklow is an undergraduate student at Central Michigan University who loves all things Spanish, social justice, and dark-chocolate flavored. She has been published before in The Central Review.