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May 2016
this is an alphabet of all the people
who have dug holes in me,
and of all the people
who are still digging.

this is a gardening guide
for would-be lovers and pretty faces
who do not even realize
that they are carrying shovels.

this is a weather forecast written
from past experience,
a reminder that winter
is not kind on crops,
no matter how firmly you pack the dirt.

this is me,
reflecting on seeds planted.

this is me,
reflecting on seeds left to die.

A,
i suppose it is fitting that the first letter
is also the first person to show me what it is like
to have seedlings sprouting up from inside you,
the first person to show me just how deep you really have to dig
to make the sting last.
you never came back to water what you planted.

H,
i’d like to say to that i ripped out your roots with my own two hands;
i’d like to give myself some credit in all this.
you don’t look as lovely as you used to.
you say i’ve grown distant.
i’m sorry.

J,
you always feel like being on the verge of something big.
you feel like summer, like a deep purple,
a bath of darkness.
you are everywhere that plants do not grow well.
and i have always felt — and still do feel — 
that that is such a grave injustice.
still, though you cannot speak the word “devotion,”
i beckon for more seeds.

P,
my greatest heartbreak.
heartbreak, though, is but a flesh wound when seen from afar.
and so i thank god for the miles between us.
i can feign forgetfulness when you are far away.
after all, what is a shovel in your hands if those hands cannot reach me?

S,
you are but a bud waiting to bloom.
and yet again i find myself so very afraid of growth.

(a.m.)
written may 24th, 2016. pretty proud of how this came out. hope you enjoy. **
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       emma l, ---, iridescent, Pradip Chattopadhyay, --- and 21 others
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