(Photo of Kelsi Rose)
Sometimes, the earth
gets so hungry
that it splits itself open,
becomes a mouth
People used to wait for me with bated breath.
This was when my hair was long and beautiful,
when I used to keep longing between my teeth
and the sounds of the ocean were tucked away
in my cheek and when you kissed me,
you said I was saltwater wonder.
I was a sad story on the newsstand, drawing you in,
riptide, drawing in the margins where you used to write poetry.
One day, I was worth a bouquet of half-dead roses.
On the next, I was bedside aspirin;
you were the headache—
we tangled ourselves up
until I couldn’t tell my skin from yours and
can I still pretend like a poet?
Finding directions in the way that your body moves
when you walk—I was an idiot. I was wandering
the town square like a drunkard
and you were sipping homemade apple wine
in the orchards—I never should have told you.
People used to wait for me, wanting to tell me secrets
they kept under their pillow cases—bedside prayers.
I was watercolor knees
and you were counting freckles; a mouthful of
Newsprint paper hands praying;
I am losing myself until I’m lost again.
The ocean is still the ocean, still sand
rubbing against my soft places; I still keep longing
in my teeth but I am not saltwater
wonder or watercolor knees or
I am summer freckle-faced
bright, wet, moss-eyed moments
and sleeping winter bones.
© Kelsi Rose
Bio: Kelsi Rose has always lived in Pennsylvania where her words kicked up the dust of country backroads and always smelled of pressed wildflowers and the faded static of dreams. She has proudly published two collections of poetry: “Sparrow” (Winter Goose Publishing, 2016) and “Paperback Wings and Patchwork Eyes” (Winter Goose Publishing, 2018) as well as two chapbooks: “The Drowning Girl” (2018) and “your mother’s white-washed words” (JMF Chapbooks, LLC., 2018). She has also been featured in seven anthologies. She is currently in pursuit of Bachelor’s Degrees in English Literature and Psychology while she pens her next collection.