March 10, 2008
By Alicen Davis, Malvern, PA

When only I turn around from looking at you behind me:
My eyes are silver-crusted gems that glow beneath my flaming face
Sound from my mouth is a single wind with gales of breath
Skin rubs against the binding of my hands to my back
Wheels under my feet sway me away from your gaze
I only smile because I believe that somehow you’re watching.
When only I turn around from looking at you in front of me:
I am the ground with only grass with which to whisper
Once I realize I am no such ground, I form its slave
I become a great tree in the forest by the river
To be shattered and scribbled upon, given a hardened coat
And set on a bookshelf between Charles Dickens and Jane Austen,
I linger, standing upright for when you come
To hold me and read this poem
Only before I have lit the match and put it to the ground.

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