When they cut you open, they said you bled stars

Madeline Brancel grew up in Wisconsin and has lived in Brazil, Portugal, and Mozambique. She is most joyful when dancing to jazz in her kitchen. Her approach to writing is to let poetry bottle up ... [+]

Image of Long Story Short Award - Fall 2020
Image of Poetry
The bunny soft glow falls languid,
seeping into the fibers I so tenderly draped
over the prostrate length of you.

You barely stir. Your breath
is a steady tide so I
follow your cadence with my own, our moons
swinging, skin oozing
eucalyptus and myrrh. I see your sap draining from
the pulp of you where they drilled.
The doctors whisper behind sterile curtains
that they've never tasted
a syrup like yours.

They unearth your trunk and carry it
to me in a bundle,
cradled in the innocent enclaves of their elbows, sapless,
still breathing. I promise you new soil,
a well-lit room, a pot that's too small but still
cozy, maybe even pancakes
to share as you

When we get home, my forest drinks your breeze
and our cheeks run rouge
with your hibiscus, my red allium.
You leave me windswept; I leave you as you are now,
sleeping. Your first spring leaf peeks through your
tender bark and
my chest opens,
as it

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