In murky emerald green water,
a broken bottle bobs on the milky surface.
A dead bird floats, feet upright.
A coin falls and punctures
the water’s face like a wound
It sinks with the other worn
nickel coins, painted olive.
Her father places another
coin in her palm. She brings it
to her lips and kisses it.
The coin falls past the lips of
the water and lands in its murky belly.
The girl reaches for another coin,
but her father is gone,
swallowed by spring sunlight.
She frowns, reaches her
hand into soupy water,
- Take a Picture Mommy
I am 5. I can hear my family singing
Happy birthday. The rain falling gently against
the curved glass windows.
Big Bird cupcakes
are lined up neatly on the kitchen table.
The yellow sprinkles
spill onto my lap, amber icing lines my lips.
- Melted Stars
As a child I watched the sky bleed,
tears. Pounding hard
against the window. Lying
on the kitchen floor, staring up
past the skylight and into the
black space, my hair sprawled around
me like a burst of stars, dripping
in copper light.
- 15th Birthday
My mother pushed my honey colored hair behind
my ears and told me to listen. She told me to stop
wishing on copper stars and to listen to her.
I started listening to the December rain leaking from
the murky sky.
- Slaughterhouse 5
Feeling like a bug caught in amber.
Trapped, my own wings turned to
stone. Wanting to get up and fly away,
fly with the rain beating against my wings,
the voices holding me back, melting into nothing.
- 17th birthday
My mother baked me a cake, pale yellow
icing smoothed onto white cake, decorated with
pastel flowers. The birthday candles flicker amber in
the flash of the camera.
Outside, December rain turns to snow.