by Alyssa Jewell
The hickories bear witness to the light which bears witness to disease: inching of blisters across yellow-tipped leaves, branches desolate after morning fall-- which is all, really, to say, every day in your absence, I take less comfort in the growth of living things. I tried knowing my neighbors more openly, for in your coldness about life, my clay legs learned to walk the earth's beaches where the stones didn't cut. They pressed against the ends of my body knowingly-- I shook off December naturally. I learned a variation of spring so well that when I came across a fox, slim and skulking along the highway, its mouth opened unto me to seek green shelter and milk and a bit of daylight-- its best season thieved. I was, you see, on the verge of peace, and everyone felt it in me-- could drink it from me. I didn't mind. I liked to feel useful. The world was mine to give. No, it wasn't. I reach for the soreness in the closed off bud-- continue to fall in love with all I cannot save.
Alyssa Jewell recently graduated from Western Michigan University with an MFA in Creative Writing and holds an M.Ed. in TESOL from Grand Valley State University. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2016, Colorado Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Lake Effect, Quarterly West, Quiddity, and Zone 3, among other publications. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she teaches college poetry and ESL courses.