She wandered when the car broke down
To the seam between asphalt and meadow
And found popcorn flowers bobbing and rising
Billowing and retreating
Waiting and sweet.
She plucked them, stripped their heads
Plumbed their insides, sighed and swallowed and
Like an unopened daylily
Orange on the inside and tender
Tensing her jaw and her
Damp curled limbs
It shrank and it curdled and finally subsided
But left imprints, footprints, fissures, dents
Worry marring innocence and
Poison staining sweet.
She stumbled when he died.
She stiffened when the future narrowed
She felt the weight of loves and wonders, old and trailing heavy like a fishing net
She felt her breath fickle
Her breath sprouting towards the center of earth
Rooting her and fixing her in choices
She didn’t mean to make.
Kate Oksas is a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences interested in neuroscience, writing, and everything in between. She is studying Biological Basis of Behavior with a minor in Creative Writing.