Corals are adept at adapting, so don’t make room for them on the engendered list, yet. Like us – today a boy, tomorrow a girl, the call on the corner
just the same: I see you. The day cornflower-blue except where it’s green or brown and brackish. Skye runs a hand along the length of a tinder-dry
branch, stripping its leaves to make a blossom. Again and again, they offer you their version of a flower, then laugh as it showers
your lap with brittle red leaves and needles. They brush smoke-scented hair from their face, dirt caking palms. An afternoon full of the light
damage of being four. Skye wishes upon a feather falling from a gull. They welcome a sudden rain, and in that storm, they open their mouth, releasing
April’s crocuses. Had you listened that day, you too might have wished you were adrift in the rising sea inside a glass bottle, tiny world of our unmaking.
A Place Where the Disappeared Live Forever
Here. The sound of darkness settling, the sound of life clawing, the sound of hours swallowing a secret the earth keeps canopied: my little portal I pass through to make myself again.
Here. All shadow, all current that pulls apart rooms to make space for the sky, a throat pouring down the promise of drowning.
Here. I don’t know the beginning, but recognize tomorrow’s gaze, a glimpse of lupine, of tackstem in the compressed soil, devil’s spineflower forcing newborn green through cracks.
Men, with their bone-sniffing dogs, still seeking what wasn’t meant to be found.
They will arrive soon. I wait. I endure.
-- Christine Pacyk is a poet and educator living in the Chicago Suburbs and who holds an MFA in poetry from Northwestern University. She was recently named a finalist for the 2017 Claire Rosen and Samuel Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists. Her work has appeared in Jet Fuel Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Kettle Blue Review, and CrannógMagazine, to name a few.
Virginia Smith Rice is the author of the poetry collection, When I Wake It Will Be Forever (Sundress Publications, 2014), and a poetry chapbook, Whose House, Whose Playroom (Dancing Girl Press, 2017). Her poems appear in The Antioch Review, Baltimore Review,Cimarron Review, Cincinnati Review, Denver Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, and Southern Poetry Review, among other journals. She is poetry editor at Kettle Blue Review, and associate editor at Canopic Publishing.