Orange Acid and Other Admissions of Guilt
something i like.
the peppermint edges of your cheekbones, wedged like
silver coins. the ribbed hem of my dress. tongue
bitten by three wasps.
something i can taste.
summer smells like 6:24 a.m., dandelion breath
and cacti-pricked toes. i miss the black carbon
dust and the empty medicine cabinet. sidewalks
are not built of marble.
something i am.
spine (n.): a series of vertebrae extending from the
skull to the small of the back. soft-soled shoes grazing
the curve of my ankle. buy one and a poor kid gets a pair.
irises that change color according to the amount of blood
you’ve given away. eleven different kinds of envelopes
filled with words i couldn’t say to you.
i am not a poem and neither is this. after dusk, i am
still counting the number of seeds left over in your
marrow. sixteen years and i have only known how to
admit to one thing: flight. nights are cold and the red
on the sink is temporary and veins are the atlases i
could not draw.
i want to peel off my skin and find alaska underneath.
Melissa Ho is a sixteen-year-old from Ellicott City, Maryland. She has been recognized by Scholastic, various universities/colleges, and more. In her spare time, she reads, spins flags, and decorates coffee cups.