I triage the landscape. The prairies
are numb today and so am I.
I am too thin. Built
like I won't explode on hot
afternoons, a mirror
to the sky. My body is a hurt
where tall grasses grow, where
clouds pass, where rain sinks. It
aches where I touch
the ground. The prairies are split
into farmland locked in the control
of continuity and destruction. A plaque
of canola on my arm itches and
I want to scratch. Someday I will move
to where the land cradles me, swallows
me whole, erodes flesh from my body
in the surf. I can't explain how I feel today
except: the wish for winter. Every season
an emergency, distinct but repeating
like the bones of my ribcage
or prairie highways in blowing snow.
I am the outline of a person
on the shoulder heading west, formed
into black plastic garbage bags. I am still
too heavy for the wind to take me
anywhere fast. I am still too much.
Brandi Bird, "19" from I Am Still Too Much. Copyright © 2019 by Brandi Bird. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Source: I Am Still Too Much (Rahila's Ghost Press, 2019)