I'll Write the Girl
The thing I'll never write is the green leaf with its rubbery-hard veins, I'll never write the structure exposed, instead I'll write the girl picking it up, green leaf, her pudgy hand & her wanting it, that's it, because she knows the sky is full of stumbling ghosts, & she's back in the cold room, back on the dark floor, & along so much sky, what does one person do? She says, bring it to me & devours, hungry girl, breaks it open, tastes the day's first plasma of leaf, first blood of green on her city street, she takes it to her like morning's first kill, & owns it, stem to point, & knows her life will always be this biting open one thing to leave another, that the only way she'll get anything is with this tiny hammer in her animal brain saying: mine, & again, & now.
From Red Sugar by Jan Beatty. Copyright © 2008 by Jan Beatty. Published by University of Pittsburgh Press. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.