What I Miss

by Melissa Houghton

Is not so much the words
but the sunshine and the spider
and their high, spindly legs
dangling beneath the lump,
a plump, dark body.

How when I was a child,
death was a dull curiosity–
like my hair, it had no feeling.
And suddenly, a spider gone
flat under a book. How I tried
to shake
its guts
the page.
How the hair-thin string, stuck in
the ceiling tile, not quite unstrung,
reverberated in the air
on its own.

And the book itself was thick,
had pictures of snakes I was
afraid of, wouldn’t even open
the page to I could smell
how cold the skin was, assumed
it was slimy.
Red and yellow
means you’re a dead fellow.
Red and black,
you’re okay, Jack.

I knew mnemonics
would fail in crisis it
didn’t matter what color
the tumor turned its red
vessels grew on the screen
clumping like gristle.

Nature had always given me
something to figure. Something
to contribute to my concept of
human, though I wouldn’t have
worded it quite that way…
still wouldn’t really.

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1 Comment

Filed under Issue 3, Poetry

One response to “What I Miss

  1. Tristan

    I hope your writing is in the next issue 🙂

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