by Karli Woods

You crept on the floorboards, like a snow leopard; while the flowers and trees morphed into a shade of twilight. I glimpsed your silhouette as it became the size of a crumb; glancing at one’s silhouette is bleak—it is featureless. You cannot intertwine flesh fingers with illustration. You left before I could greet you good morning, while our children slept like lambs furled in our cabin on the hill. You left before I made your favorite fried eggs; cracked yoke on your grandmother’s plate—a fragment of the sun split through your fork each morning. I remember a flock of swans that lingered here, but they fled one by one and never returned. You always have to have the final word; as if language should be owned without being shared. The marigolds in the kitchen have wilted; every last crisp petal reminds me of dried bitterness—a barrel of untouched prunes. When you speak, your words sprout like honeysuckle vines wrapping around our fence, intertwining without a pause or a moment of hesitation. I want to grow my own garden; my own ideals without being cut. I am a fish floating inside your throat wishing to speak.

— from Juniper Volume 2, Issue 2