loose harvest In another life, I was edible flowers. I wore a fitted baby tee that said tubular. It came to define me. Fingerling sounds dirty—name of a slim potato. Early, I was planting seeds, craving exotic leaves; slip of sweet yam or horned melon. Prized for bitterness, it takes time to develop. Now I have but looking back, I long for gherkins that lack acerbic zing. I see me, purple, not fully ripe. My mouth waters for green cucumber without the spine. Where do I grow from here, I ask the dirt. It answers with a wire cage; 6 feet of used earth. Soft Eviction I thought of it as home; that’s why I yelled: I thought that lovers always yelled at home. I never softened the blow. From my throat I always spoke guttural truth. You knew I loved you. Neighbors felt differently— I blushed from the knocks at the door. I swore I would reign it in. Anger moved in, and You, lighthearted, said we should charge it rent. Your steps went from Baryshnikov, though, to Your leg-heavy impression of Bigfoot. You never said you were stomping on my Heart, but I know how fury shakes hardwood. They asked us to leave. We cried and embraced. We vacated; keys changed. New place. Same things. Manifest It shouldn’t surprise us that he breaks—he was born that way; thin, wan. Yellow would disappear after he would incubate, but never really went away. Defiant when we begged for slumber; temper short while awake. Eventually, fists like hammers and slender feet against beanbag. For love of species as wild as himself, refusal to eat any meat; but pride in his heart and conscience doesn’t help or bring any relief. He puts ten dollars in my hand and insists we share with elephants and lions. The therapist wants to place him behind sturdy locked doors and tells us to pray for compliance. The sobbing and shrieking and the “I don’t know why” rise regularly and haunt us. I reapply makeup as I try to discern sounds of a cry from distant sirens.
Gillian Thomas is a graduate of New York City’s Hunter College, with a degree in English and Theater. Thomas’ work has been featured in multiple journals, including Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Gargoyle, Maryland Literary Review, JMWW journal, Gargoyle Online, Ligeia Magazine, Pembroke Magazine, and others. She was recently interviewed in Issue 1 of The Basilisk Tree poetry journal. She lives in Washington, D.C.’s suburbs with her husband, son, and a barking Miniature Schnauzer.
Image: Growth Tree Rings from Vijayanrajapuram under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.