Mouthfeels / by Kaleigh Spollen

hold me softly
like the figs i stole in south berkeley-
all pudgy parabolas
dripping from branches in the low light.
milky sap slips white on my cuticles,
sentences stay asleep on my tongue
in this city,

in which
i am trying to be good
when they tell me to make roots,

in which
all day we watch the barge of memory
roped loosely above a red tide
and ask what have we done,
and ask, how do we grow,

in which
my mind is shingled in scales and filmy water
to be sloughed off by someone else who
finds bones now
in sloped links down an axis
so small.

in which
i could have heard a hymnal once,
above the barge,
while men welded near trees swollen,
the figs, the grapes,
the gentle wealth of the gold coast, their
naked limbs laid pale and humble -
you are not spineless
for feeling,
you are not spineless
for crying,
i tell you, you are soft but not




Kaleigh Spollen found her way to the west coast, where she lives, works, and sometimes writes. She likes running around the lake. Talk to her about Baltimore, she likes that too.