by Emma Hyche
When the vein opened in the dirt under my hands,
I thought I’d found unimaginable riches. Four things
from my fifth year: the rough fur on the neck
of a hunting beagle who chewed through his chains,
state park mud drying tight on my skin like the head
of a drum about to burst, greed for yellow luster,
and cold. The last crept into the metal trailer
classroom while the kids who were too proud to cop
to the thinness of their t-shirts hung their coats. Their skin
pricked with goosebumps, teeth clacking in shivers.
In their wet mouths, glints of silver and gold. I envied
their unimaginable riches, their tongues running like water
over silver and gold. I held smeary pyrite in my palm,
already too greedy and too foolish to inherit God’s kingdom.