earth week

A Brief History of My Earth Days by Melissa Cronin

I do not remember my first Earth Day, for I was but a soft sprout. I was a seed, a nascent bulb waiting to turn towards the sun and drink in its warmth, incapable of anything else. 

My second Earth Day, I was mushed and squished and dehydrated and rehydrated and hardened into the equivalent of a block of seitan, a type of sticky, insoluble, and barely digestible food that is also known as “wheat meat.” Babies usually enter the “mirror stage,” when they can recognize their own image in a reflection, within 18 months. When I looked in the mirror, I saw my own wheat meat bulging out of the leg holes of a soiled diaper.

My fifth Earth Day was the 25th Earth Day that the Earth had ever hosted. This year, I truly became an eco-warrior. Two months after this Earth Day, I went to the beach and stuck a little yellow seashell up my nose and then I went to the hospital where a doctor suctioned out the snot that had encased it within my nasal cavity like a fossil. He then used a fine tool that looked like a noose to drag the seashell out, and it smelled like salt water. My bond with the Earth was now so deeply solidified that we had become, for a few brief hours, of one body.

My eighth Earth Day, I got braces but could not bear to carry the fruits of a titanium mine, that violent, scarring site of extraction, on my face. I did not participate in the celebrations.

My eleventh Earth Day, the braces came off, the clouds cleared, and I was whole once again. I skipped through a field of primroses, fluttering my eyelashes at butterflies emerging from their cocoons and licking sweet, wet droplets off honeysuckle shrubs alongside a family of gentle deer.

My sixteenth Earth Day, I stared at my Bob Marley poster and thought about how he really got it. Why didn’t anyone get it like me and Bob did?

My eighteenth Earth Day, I bought a Colt-45 from the deli on Third Avenue and drank it straight from the bottle, scolding friends whose beer had frothed over the sides of red plastic cups. This was at a fraternity party, which reminded me of Earth Day's founder, Senator Gaylord Nelson, who was inducted into the fraternity Pi Kappa Phi at the age of 54. I was told to leave the party, but I was glad that we all learned something in the process.

My twenty-first Earth Day, I was in a foreign city, where giorno della terra is not really a big holiday. There were no celebrations, but I said a quiet prayer to myself, thanking Mother Earth for blessing the United States with such an environmentally conscious citizenry.

Two Earth Days ago, Kid Rock taught me about consumer sustainability, tweeting, “Recycle motherfuckers. #EarthDay.” I thought to myself that, though I never really understood what it meant, “Bawitdaba” was actually not such a bad song, and it became the soundtrack to that year’s festivites. I hummed it under my breath as I celebrated with a lavender kombucha, a drink I dislike but which I hear does a body good.

This Earth Day, I walked along the sound and looked up at the white-capped mountains and waved to a shiny sea lion popping his head through the waves, and I picked a fat, buttery dandelion growing through a crack in the sidewalk. I could just faintly make out the moon in the bright cobalt sky, and I softly whispered, "Get out of here idiot, today isn't about you for once."

 

 

 

 

Melissa Cronin is Potluck Magazine's fiction editor, as well as an environmental reporter at Grist and a contributing editor at Gawker. She hopes she will live to see another Earth Day.

Two Poems by Ashley Opheim


A Flower Called Nowhere


Earth, 114 million years ago: 
The first flower appears on the planet.

Earth, 27 years ago:
I appear on the planet.

Isn’t it insane that flowers bloom?
That a human is born?

Humans contain breath, blood, bones,
pixels, glitches, boundaries.

A pulse.

Where the hell
do flowers and humans come from
and is it the same place?

I am not sure if my purpose has value or not.

So I am just trying to do to my life
what the sun and rain have done to flowers
for 114 million years.

My heart is a flower
making the most of its situation.

My heart’s mantra is
‘riot on flower mountain.’

I want to be held like a flower
holds a rain drop.

Holding the sun
in eye contact.

I want to know the width of my pulse
and if it is sunny there

or what?

I want a lipstick made from
the sex organs of flowers.

 

 

 

 

Where You Came From 
 

Your feet kiss the earth when you walk.
You cannot receive
what you don't give.

Frolic through the desert of your mind.
There are tiny, exotic birds living
in each one of your fingers.

Think about your favorite fruit
and how it makes you feel.
Everything you are going to be, you already are.

Listen to the sound behind sound.
There is a waterfall of old patterns
falling out from you.

Imagine that your eyes are kissing
everything around you.
Can you perceive beyond what you see?

Try to love the part of you that makes you ugly. You have thoughts, but you are not
your thoughts.

You do not have knowledge. 
You are knowledge.
Turn your passion into patience.

You can be simultaneously
liberated and imprisoned
by a circumstance.

Imagine your mind
is a myriad
of crystalline forests.

To perceive is to understand
and to understand is to experience.
Listen to sound with every pore of your body.

Focus your energy on
things that make
your heart feel big.

You are rain forests dreaming
about desert sands and desert sands
dreaming about lush flowers.

Imagine you are breathing
in and out of your ears.
Your skin is one big fucking petal.

Your body is a vessel
for breath and light to move through.
Count the flames in the heart of the sun.

You came from everywhere and
were created from nothing.

You came from nowhere
and were created from everything.

You came from everywhere and
were created from everything.

You came from nowhere
and were created from nothing.

 

 

 

 

Ashley Opheim is a Montreal-based writer, editor and publisher. She is the founder and managing editor of Metatron. Her work has been published in LESTE, Cosmonauts Avenue, Shabby Doll House, Electric Cereal, HTMLGIANT and elsewhere. She tweets @hologramrainbow.

Visual Art by Lindsay Mercer

All of the colors I use come from plants. This started out as a way to avoid mass-produced synthetic colors, but has turned in to much more than that. I now get to make my own colors: forage for the plants, extract the pigments, and then use them in my work. I am engaged with the process of coloring, quite literally. And this engagement gives me space to better appreciate and understand the materials I use. Every choice is intentional. The paper I use is often reclaimed from other projects or people, allowing me to use materials that would have otherwise been discarded. By looking around and trying to use what we have in new ways, we can call into question what the work is saying on a physical level. I am using plants to talk about biological bodies; we are natural beings and so the materials I use express that. 

Moon Child

Moon Child

Candle Profile

Candle Profile

Rooted

Rooted

Self Portraits

Self Portraits

 

 

 

Lindsay Mercer studied toxic chemicals in art supplies in her undergraduate education and (to avoid being a part of the anonymous workforce) she decided to go directly into graduate school, where she studies philosophy and materiality. She has apprenticed under a natural dyer, shown her work in a few small places, and printed some chapbooks on her idol, Phil Ochs. 

Three Poems by Joe Gutierrez


SOY SONG
 

I have just been informed
by a dear friend of mine
that she is now a soybean. 
This, of course, is problematic
as I am known to consume soy
on occasion. Occasions
for me are very small: 
it is morning, it is afternoon, 
the dog has begun to beg. 
There is a conversation of rain
outside I am too unwell
to participate in. 

In periods of un-wellness
I lay on blocks of tofu and wait for the ground to shift. 
I call this soy therapy. 
And so this revelation is troubling for me— 
that my friend is now a soybean. 
But what can I say? 
I have seen people spend agreeable lifetimes
continentally adrift with one another. 

I think to myself: soy does not
consume me, I consume soy. 
I think I am flying over
the San Fernando Valley
where all of the clouds
look like dehydrated roses
and this is not a subject
I wish to discuss right now. 

So we talk about your new living
arrangement instead: 
how the room will be
fumigated with blue lightning
and rubbing alcohol. 
You’ll have to scrub your way
back in time, when
our biggest concern was
how small our hands were. 
How heavy silk was. 

 

 

 

 

FOR SAFEKEEPING
 

i. 
The banks have closed. 
All of the tellers
have migrated
back to their caves
where thousands of bats
are dying of white nose syndrome, 
hanging up their coats
learning earthen ways of sadness. 


 

ii. 
My penis slides off
easily. 

I take it to
the only tree in the world
poets have not yet
personified. 

It is a great tree: 
Each branch is a dick
I can laugh about. 

Each branch looks back
and laughs at me: 

dickless. 

 

 

 

 

*laugh track in mustard* 
 

my closest relative
is a chip
                                 but 

don’t take my truth
i literally have nothing 

only this coconut
i use as a telephone 9-1-1 hello 

lonely dog here need a bone
i’m a wild blueberry 

with thick hair and brown
pants full of shit

yes       uh       huh

artisan cheesemakers
are fighting in the field 

this bowl with a spoon
at my throat won’t quit 

barking up
                          leafs no— 
up!      leafs! 

            you’re looking

that’s the wrong direction
                     now that’s down

 

 

 

 

Joe Gutierrez lives in Long Beach, CA. They work with animals.  You can find them on Twitter @gojibrry.

Happy Meal by Ben Guarino

John bends down near the edge of the ball pit, as though tying his shoe, and with a flick of his wrist deposits thousands of hungry ticks. Each time it’s the same. I go first and wait in a booth, sipping a coffee. A few minutes later he enters the restaurant, and drops his payload among the other balls. His little ritual of ecoterror is over in seconds -- it’s hard to catch, even knowing to look out for it. At the third McDonald’s I manage to spot him palming a ball from his pocket. But I immediately lose track of the ball once it lands in the pit. 

“Bug bombs, I call them,” he tells me when we’re back in the car, a rented silver Toyota he’d been driving since he picked me up in Iowa City. We’re between the third and fourth McDonald’s, heading toward Chicago. The route feels random. But I think it’s just John covering his tracks -- just like his plastic balls, which he says he sourced from the same manufacturer that McDonald’s uses. 

"Of course, properly speaking," he says, "ticks aren’t true bugs at all. No serious natural scientist would confuse the two."

“And do you think of yourself as a scientist?” I ask. “Is this an experiment?” The skepticism I had before this trip has vanished, replaced by a sweaty feeling that I should’ve called the police, probably right after he showed me his cooler. But I have no idea what I would say even if I did. Hello, officer? I’m a reporter for the Times and my source is a madman who’s been infesting America with ticks.

“Look,” he says, “I was this goddamned close to my Ph.D.” -- he takes a hand off the steering wheel to hold up his thumb and forefinger a centimeter apart -- “when Princeton kicked me out. Is that good enough for you?” (I’m fairly certain John Chapman, aka Appleseed, is his idea of a joke. Yesterday I phoned Princeton’s graduate department, just to be sure, and they have no record of a student named John or Jonathan Chapman.) 

The edge in his voice makes me nervous so I say I’m curious how he gets the ticks to crawl into plastic balls. 

It was easy, he says. He just drills a tiny hole in the bottom and then fills the ball using a funnel. 

“You can get ticks to go down a funnel?” I imagine a swarm of ticks marching in line, like ants.

“I can if they’re nymphs. Immediately after my larvae molt into nymphs, I chill them,” he says. “It doesn't hurt. It happens like this in the wild, too, in winter. If they get cold they start to hibernate, and when they’re sluggish they pour as easily as sugar. Plus, once they wake up, they have an incredibly accelerated metabolism. They’re rapacious. They’ll bite anything as long as it’s warm and has a pulse.” 

“In a way,” he adds, “they’re really the perfect animal for what I’m doing. A gift from nature.”

If I'm going to quote him I should be writing this down in my notebook, but instead I’m fighting the urge to bring up the sick kids. It’s not the right moment, mostly because I’m not prepared for what he’ll say. Or what he’ll decide to do as we speed down the interstate. So we don’t speak until we pull into the next McDonald’s. 

John reaches back into the cooler -- he’s brought along one of those large red ones, the kind you’d find filled with Bud Lights and Coronas at a family reunion -- and begins rummaging. He has a system: the Coke cans he’ll surreptitiously litter in parks and playgrounds; the hollowed-out ashtrays are for the bars and steakhouses that still let you smoke; the 35-mm film canisters he dumps pretty much everywhere else, in dressing room corners at The Gap or under movie theater seats or behind the toilets at baseball stadiums. He says those little black cylinders house enough nymphs to trigger allergies in a hundred people. 

But it’s the ball pit balls, I can tell, that are his favorites. “Billions and billions served,” he says as he paws through the cooler until he finds a ball. He peels off a strip of scotch tape to expose a small hole.

“I think I’ll sit this one out,” I say. 

John shrugs, tucks the ball into his jacket. “Are you hungry?” he asks. “Maybe a burger?” It’s his way of being funny.

I flip through my notes while John sabotages the fast food restaurant. There's a copy of his cryptic emails, the ones in which he annotates all the errors he saw in my first article. Next to a rash of mysterious meat allergies, he’s written “galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose.” That was meaningless until I looked it up. It’s a chemical, a carbohydrate sugar, embedded in the cell membranes of most mammals. Thanks to an ancient evolutionary quirk, humans don’t have it. We can digest it, but if something -- a specific type of tick, say --  bites us that's bitten another mammal, it passes this sugar into our veins. Our immune systems go haywire: hives, nausea, the whole bit. I pull up a recent Reuters report on my phone. Three kids in Nebraska went into anaphylactic shock after snacking on 7-Eleven hot dogs. As with the other cases, the FDA has ruled out food poisoning. Signs of an allergic response, it says. 

When the car door opens I almost bolt. I didn’t hear him coming. John sees me and then my notebook. He makes a face. “You want to ask me about those kids,” he says as he buckles himself in. “I’m sorry about them. Really. But take my view from thirty thousand feet up-- more people are going get hurt, going to die if I don’t do this.” 

Instead of what I really want to say, which is to call him a lunatic, I ask him how he figures.

“Global warming will be the biggest holocaust humanity has ever known. Cities will drown and economies will collapse. And the worst part is that it’s driven by our bullshit,” he says. “Not literally shit, but flatulence. Red meat is killing the earth, one burp of cattle methane at a time. Did you know there are a hundred million cows in our country? Each spewing out three hundred pounds of methane a year. If every American stopped eating beef, it would do more for the planet than if we all stopped driving.”

“Do you really think your bug bombs will make every American allergic to Big Macs?”

“Not every American, no. But are you familiar with the economic idea of a tipping point? If we get through to a fifth of the population, everyone else falls in line.”

“I’m not sure that applies to infecting people at random.”

“They’re not infected. Most people who get bit will eat a hamburger, get a rash, and then have to get used to eating chicken.”

“Someone could die.”

“It’s possible. But we’re all indirectly killing each other. That's life. Do you think my former colleagues aren’t? Those assholes jet to conferences around the globe to set emissions standards, which won’t work, and pat each other on the back. They might as well be shoveling the Marshall Islands into the Pacific themselves. For Christ’s sake, airplanes are the least efficient form of travel we’ve ever invented.”

He pulls off the highway, down a road lined with cornstalks.  

“You know, I asked you to come meet me -- to see this work -- because I like your stuff. It’s good,” John says. “You care, like I do.”

“I’m not like you.”

“Maybe, maybe not. But there isn’t a better way to save the planet,” he says. “Now get out of the car.” 

He hasn’t let me totally alone. There’s a dairy barn across the street. I wonder if this was part of his plan all along, or just farm country providence. I catch the dull eyes of the cows, smell their bovine farts baking the heat of the sun. I dial a cab instead of the cops.

I’m hunting for an aspirin later at my hotel when I spot them crawling out of my backpack.

 

 

 

Ben Guarino is a science journalist and staff writer for The Washington Post. His nonfiction work has appeared in the Huffington Post, Salon, Inverse and others.

The Third Cycle by Aaron Calvin

There are balled up black socks piled up against the door. That closed up winter smell, sweat. I was in a bodega buying ice cream while a boy smoking a cigarette on a bicycle slowly edged out of the frame. Arrhythmic and tinny, the beating of a small hammer against the pipes. The litter box needs to be cleaned, but your gums are dragging. The sound of the church bell begins above and spreads down and out and covers everything. 

*

Speak to me of conspiracy theories over the phone. I don’t mind. The truth hovers off to the left, un-get-at-able anyway. More factors that go into distance than time and space. More forged than created, practiced and kneaded out. There is a trance to enter in speaking with you. A submission to the one true tacit ruleset. It’s humbling. The silence curls up at my toes, occasionally stands to arch its long back, moves against my shins. 

*

A room smells like it rained inside and they shut all the doors. I look at old wooden toys like they’re speaking a foreign language, gesture-less. The house may not have existed. The town may no longer appear on maps, may no longer be incorporated. The town had a small museum filled with pictures of sprouting fields. A patient history cycling out, waiting to turn fallow, chronicling the moments and declarations unraveling and ending with the screaming of cicadas at dusk. 

Hands puffy and raw in the heat. The road is gravel and dips steeply in places. The spring turns it to mud. That low thunder sound like a bottle breaking against white siding stretched out. You can rub it around in the dirt and your hand will be brown and marked with small red reminders. I wish I could’ve been there, I wish I could’ve cut down the apple tree with my own hands, climbing to the top to hack off every branch, spending hours working against the mutilated trunk until it slowly turned horizontal against the grass, dry in August. My hands would be red blistered, pain radiant from the gripped handle. It still wouldn’t be done. I would split the wood against the stump to turn into logs then carry them to the shed to desiccate. The winter would burn the wood.

I would’ve tied a chain around the trunk and dug the wheels of a faded red Toyota pick-up into the ground (August), crescendoing and de-crescendoing until the air was dirt, until the roots un-gripped. The windows would be rolled all the way down and the cab would be filled with exhaust and earth. The trunk would be drug roaring in the rear view like Hector’s body before the walls of Ilium. 

Later, I would think of the skin of my knees peeled back against the concrete in front of a tall building made of glass and steel while the air smells heavy with rain, the wind. 

 

 

 

Aaron Calvin is a writer from Iowa and now lives in Brooklyn. His work has appeared on BuzzFeedAskMen.comVice, and Men's Journal

Art by W. Jack Savage

Back To Square One

Back To Square One

Across the Gorge and Back

Across the Gorge and Back

Angel Peak

Angel Peak

After Two Months

After Two Months

Getting Down Was Always Harder

Getting Down Was Always Harder

Grover Never Cared If They Were Lost

Grover Never Cared If They Were Lost

More Than Enough

More Than Enough

His Last Wave

His Last Wave

No Rebuilding the Dream

No Rebuilding the Dream

 

 

 

 

W. Jack Savage is a retired broadcaster and educator. He is the author of seven books, including Imagination: The Art of W. JackSavage (wjacksavage.com). To date, more than fifty of Jack’s short stories and over seven hundred of his paintings and drawings have been published worldwide. Jack and his wife Kathy live in Monrovia, California.

Photosynthesis by Maribeth Theroux


I took my African violet
for a walk. 
It doesn’t get enough sun. 
I fashioned
a greenhouse
out of Saran wrap
to keep it warm. 

A short walk
to the drug store
and back.
The woman
at the register
said, “Is that a flower?” 
And, “Are you going
to plant it?” 
But I don’t have a yard. 
And African
violets can’t live in our soil. 
(“Our cold
New England
soil.”) 
I seem to remember Grammy
telling me that. 

I took a picture of the Magnolia tree on St. Nicholas
and 150th. They only bloom for a couple of days and then they’re gone. 
I learned that the hard way— 
the way you look at where the blossoms used to be
and they’re gone. 

I printed out the picture of the blossoms
and wrote Grammy a note: 
“Reminds me of the big one in your yard
on Dwight Road.” 

Then I got scared. Scared the note would make Grammy
too upset. Too nostalgic for the big one she no longer has, 
in the yard she no longer has, attached to the house
someone else has. 

Grammy is named Mary, 
Mom is named Marianne, 
and I’m named Maribeth. 
There’s no connection, I don’t think, 
except there is. 

Maybe it’s Mom’s fault. She left the rose bushes
in the side yard on Old Farm Road
thinking the new owners would appreciate them,
but they didn’t. We drove past the old yard, 
the old house, and they’d been removed. 
Every last bush. 

Once I wrote a poem about
the daffodils. I think I titled it
“The Daffodils.” I was considering
the daffodils on Bugbee Road. 
I don’t tend them anymore, 
I don’t live there anymore, 
but I still think they’re mine. The other day
Mom and I drove up the driveway
and the daffodils were blooming. 
I wanted to say, “My daffodils are blooming.” 
But I thought she’d be offended. 
I thought she’d say, “You haven’t done
anything for those ‘dils in fifteen years.” 

We don’t think the flower on top of the cactus is real. 
We think the man at the pet store
glued it on top to make it pretty. If the cactus dies
we’ll know for sure. The plant will be withered, 
the plant will be brown, 
but the flower will be so pink.

 

 

 

 

 


Maribeth Theroux has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and once played Kelly Kapowski in Bayside! The Musical.  Her poems have appeared in Hobart, Barrelhouse, Armchair/Shotgun, and Forklift, Ohio, among other places.  She lives in Pasadena with her husband and their cat.
 

Three Poems by Peter Cole Friedman

OH THANK HEAVEN FOR . . .
 

I get an email from the ASPCA
thanking Chanel
for her generous tax-deductible donation.
I almost want to marry her
on a glamping trip for that.
I prepare a pitch.
I go to the closest 7-Eleven
and buy a blue Ring Pop and Citi Bike
back home. I get down on one knee. 
She says, Sorry but I saw this recipe
for making your own ring pops
with blue agave . . . I'm ok. 
I Uber-X it back to 7-Eleven and return the Ring
Pop. I am upset. I think to myself, I'm going to
Splurge
. Do you want to
go glamping? Chanel says later that night, flipping
through a vintage National Geographic.

 

 

 

 

 

TIME IS WHAT YOU DON’T MAKE OF IT
 

It's Earth Day (the specific one), 
so Chanel and I thought it would
be the perfect time
to craft a sundial. 
To warm up, I YouTube how to
do a sun salutation (turns out what I've been doing
in couples yoga is “inauthentic”). I get as far as Cobra, 
when I overtax my poor
obliques. I figure you need
some kind of axis, so I stab one of
Chanel's tortoise shell hair chopsticks
into our Miracle-Gro soil, accidentally
burying a ladybug alive. I'm not sure if
that's how you do it, Chanel says, do you
even know the declination? 
The declination? I say. I look at my Swatch
“Dr. Swatson.” We might have to raincheck this.
Sure enough, it begins to rain.
Do you have our MoMA Design Store umbrella
with the blue sky underneath? Chanel says.

 

 

 

 

 

A SAFER WORLD, ONE PARTICLE AT A TIME
 

Giorgio got a solar-powered
Techko Maid Robotic Vacuum
but it's rained for the last week
so I know saying yes to Netflix night
will mean paying an unnecessary
visit to my allergist. Chanel suggests
we bring our portable HEPA air purifier. 
We do. As advertised, it removes
about 99% of the environmental impurities
we experience (reliability). But Giorgio insists
we watch Waking Life stoned, 
so my asthma acts up anyway. 
Luckily, Coco has an AromaMist Diffuser, 
and she fills it with Eucalyptus oil, 
which as per Dr. Oz, is a natural decongestant. 
In addition, and here's where it gets interesting, 
it's a perfectly wearable scent.

 

 

 

 

Peter Cole Friedman is a poet and artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Recent work has appeared in Powder Keg and Prelude. He co-edits the virtual literary and arts platform glitterMOB.

There Are More Choices Here Than You’d Think by Kate Guenther

Before today everything I have planted has died. After today that may still be true. Once I planted tomatoes with my dad where the roses used to be. I also wrote “tomatoes” on a popsicle stick. Stuck in the ground nearby. In case we forgot what we’d done there, I guess.  

At the park down the street, a hollow industrial plant sprouted from the rough hill, already rusted. We kids swung the rebar, landed mostly on our feet. Nothing grew around the the abandoned foundation. Like a rose, it poisons the soil beneath it selfishly. Or to not be forgotten. Or that’s not an opposite. 

Often trendy photographing teenagers snapped us running across the hulking carcass. For the juxtaposition we served up. Embodying as we once did, all the possibilities the dead thing did not have before it. 

When we moved in, the roses were already there. Mom thought they were trite. Though some were orange and tinged with pink, like smushed together starbursts. And some were redder and deeper than the gouge I got seven stitches for. 

She pulled them up and out. Two strong gloved hands around the base. Roots rip satisfyingly.

Nothing grew there for years. Including the tomatoes, which shrank as if under fire, and yellowed, despite the water, despite the gentle sun. 

Repercussions come at the strangest times. You could say. 

Or you could ask: What kind of wiggle makes a dead thing boogie. Or: if a ghost bone makes a mark where it lies on the dirt, and you dig past it, does the bone not ghost. Or: do nurse logs know what kind of joy their bodies bring. Do they stretch out on their backs like happy dogs. Or: do nurse logs really bring joy. Or: does rust love the unused for the home or the loneliness of it all. Or: If I am born within a unliving narrative, am I too dying. How does one choose to sapling. 

Or you could ask: But what happened to the popsicle stick that said “tomatoes”? 

To which I could tell you: I forgot about it. The earth ate it like a live thing. 

I could also tell you my houseplant died last month. It put up a good fight. Three died last year a little more quietly, and even more quietly the year before that and before that and before that, etc.. 

Or I could say: The marigolds I just planted from seed are two inches tall and arch toward the windows, hungry with the living. I could not tell you what has changed. 

I could say: Today I played in the junkyard again. I was the brightest thing there, with nobody watching. I juxtaposed. I spread all 10 fingers just above my head. I reigned the dead earth. Rust glittering the palms. Spoke my name out loud and made it so.  

 

 

 

Kate Guenther is a foosball shark and houseplant enthusiast living in Brooklyn. She reads poetry submissions for The Atlas Review and was on NYU slam team when they won the national championship in 2012, and again in 2014 when they did not. You can find her in Potluck, Rootstalk, NYSAI and at her internet home katewguenther.com