by A.C. O’Dell
Even while I suckled, the spirits knew, and when the blueprints arrived, I chewed on them with the emerging razors of my tiny teeth. Truly, how can you be surprised?
When I was quite small, I remember you teaching me to bake in the kitchen. You wore a tired apron and I stood on a scarred chair, and when I scented the raw vanilla, my little eyes lit and I leaned greedily toward the be-battered bowl. I think I commented on it, and you smiled kindly and said, “try it.” Then you watched me, and laughed as I made a face and spat out the biting bitterness. You poured me a fresh glass of water. And then we went on, because I knew.
within the partition entitled ‘once’
I: #6, A-C
in an empty shower stall1,
and [the scent]
suggesting a thin, sleek ponytail
and a track jacket
with red trim
his skin felt
I: #6, A-D
the soft clicking [sounds]
of a manual desktop mouse
grey and smooth,
with the smell of
warm electronic equipment
and a sterile tiled floor2
his hands were
I: #6, A-E
nubile bass and electronic vamp,
the security of nestled earbuds
and [the feel] of cool spring raindrops
against the tips of the ears3
his eyes looked
Forever from now (hold fast)
forever from now,
(you mustn’t cry then)
((and indeed i doubt you’ll be able to))
the sky will be hung low
with bruised purple smoke,
and washed in peach, maroon and tangerine.
shadowy silver clouds will move like glaciers—
whoever heard of clouds scuttling? (in this age!)
with industry at its feverpitch-iest,
great unknown shudders will split the air,
and my children will hold aloft sweet lights
(that others might find their way).
though your body be gone,
you will yet see the thing,
for i have your eyes.
A.C. O’Dell is a writer and flash poet living in Virginia. She received her B.F.A. from Mars Hill University and her M.F.A. from Regent University. She has two chapbooks, Woman These Are Yours and Slightly Bitter, and has published two zines with watercolor artist Marni Manning: Americana Culture and Inktober. Her piece “The ordinary-ness” was recently published in Blakelight Literary Magazine. One of A.C.’s favorite things to do is run her pop-up poetry booth, where she composes extemporaneous pieces for clients as performance art. It is one of the most beautiful and challenging projects she has ever worked on.