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Clothesline of Color

Published in sparkle + blink

When she went from girl to woman she carved out her womb to make room for the clothesline of things that were expected to come out: a blanket to line generations of uteri, another to hold the sly, dark red rivers mother and grandmother held and hid behind curtains of crossed legs and tight lips. Blankets that will keep a baby warm when it comes, when it comes, when it comes, just after he cums, but before she cums, because sometimes he forgets she has wings.

After the blankets, she stored flowers–a string of fuchsias kept within reach, making her lady lips sweet, but laced long enough to pull out tricks when needed, reminding him she had the right combination to make him stay, to make beauty remain. So, as time passed and men arrived she twisted every which way, hoping her body would make them stay. Yet, they always left just in time for backs to meet the morning sunrise.

As silence came and men were all gone, she learned to curl like a crescent moon, letting her breasts, her belly hang heavy, inviting whispered stories to expand like balloons. And here in her moon-like state she grew tender, ready to unravel the recipes of what she could be, should be, all coiled like thread. She pressed her cheek to the grass, smelled the earth and dug her fingers into her lips, feeling for the string, the things they thought she’d need to stay whole. She tugged and tugged and out came her grandmother’s afghan, out came the rolling pin for the dozen Christmas pies, out came the fuchsias her grandmother planted and in went her hands to the soil. She dug until her fingertips felt water. She cut until the flowers were free and pressed their roots in firm, jolting them, once, twice, resuscitating them back to life.

And as the days came and went the flowers climbed into vines, hugging pines, swaying over neighbor’s homes, inviting hummingbirds to sip and bees to roll. They stretched across town until mothers looked up at what was once chained to her womb. They pointed in awe asking how color can climb so high, how it can withstand the wind, the cold, the changing seasons out there all alone. And as her garden grew so did she and the neighbors started knocking all asking the same thing. So, when mothers came wondering how to seed such sturdy flowers, where to buy beauty that stretches to the sky she touched her chest, her belly, her hips and her thighs and said,

“Everything you need is already growing inside.”

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