May 2018 Poetry Feature: Caleigh Adams
I’m peeking down the rabbit hole
For the Sun burns too confidently,
But the scent of dirt possesses a familiar appeal
And consuming new depths.
Dare I travel
Closer to the Earth’s core,
Where sickly beings are incinerated?
Their corpses make the soil acidic.
The Sun, I suppose, will bronze my skin,
Glaze over my scars
And fill me with light that will
Cure me of impurities.
But this Rabbit Hole offers vices,
In the form of toxic elixirs and gluttony,
It fills my pores with compulsions to purge
And punish and extract.
This hole allows me to spiral,
To experience what it means
To lose control,
Which is hard to refuse when
I can’t reign the small garden
Of a kingdom
That I tend to, above ground.
I’m afraid the Sun might blister my skin.
It could burn me if I take flight,
My body in flame as I prepare
To impact Earth’s shell.
Why would it harm me?
Maybe I ought to collect the minerals
I found as I climbed from the Rabbit Trap
All these years ago
And wear them proudly
Around my neck
And entwined in my hair.
I will decorate my face with
Paint my lips with their pigment,
Smear my bruises
Until they turn reflective;
Proof that I once dug my nails too deeply,
But found that I had struck gold.
I will fight against the cool pull of the trap
And perch myself underneath a willow
I will step bravely into the sunlight.
There, I will tremble on, glowing
The minerals refract my fear of sunbeams.
I am the softest person alive.
When her accomplishments are measured
by the depths of her wounds
There is no such thing as success
Because those tender valleys
have to regrow twice over to form hills.
Today, I wish she had heard
The woman’s voice who planted baby’s breath in her curls,
Sighed a love song and sang her daughter’s name,
Then, her longing for maternal love would have felt some relief.
Maybe I’m wrong, maybe she’s wrong for believing a deficit exists.
“This is the most hopeful I’ve felt in a long time,”
She told me over the phone.
“That’s no relief,”
Because I had to wonder what the distance was,
Between her ribcage and the
Tip of the knife in her hand.
We listened to each other gasp for clear air.