By Kilhah St Fort
This piece is a series of vignettes that are able to either read as one or stand-alone. Each one carries an emotion that is specific to its content.
Above Highway 89, a boy dances barefoot across a metal tightrope. His arms held out wide, one foot in front of the other. Wind bites his face, his fingertips, his left knee peeking out of Goodwill jeans. The boy kisses back. In the clash of teeth and spit and air, he sees their wedding. Wind holds him tight, arms compressed against his hollow ribs, and when gravity takes hold, they exchange vows. In the church pews, there are birds. Bluejays, robins, warblers, even the white pigeons are allowed. Instead of rice, they throw rain. The newlyweds drive away in a carriage of clouds. “Until death do us part.” Until- *** it rained for a month. no one thought to tarp the merry go round or the slide or the swings. when the sun returned & dried the water, rust clung to metal. we couldn’t spin as fast. swing as high. slide as quick. after the chains snapped during a swing off & mary was sent flying, we stuck to hopscotch. a week later, we went through five boxes of chalk. mom said no more chalk. so, we jumped rope but no one wanted to sing the same rhyme. jump rope ended quick. bored, we went inside & said, “next summer. we’ll play next summer.” a year passed & june rolled around. the grass had grown tall, itchy, & dry. the rust had babies. we’ll play next summer. *** Chamomile flowers sprout from concrete. Bursting out of cracks destined to break a mother’s back; a bundle of gentle petals and apple breeze. A butterfly lands on an iron bench. Wings unfurl & ochre and black and white are on display. Overhead, the center of the universe smiles down.
This poem is inspired by my experiences of night swimming at summer camp.
Kilhah St Fort is an outspoken girl, who can often be found listening to either Broadway musicals or lo-fi beats. One of her favorite pastimes is binge-watching cartoons. Kilhah documents her world and the world around her through poetry while creating new ones through prose. She's passionate about a bunch of things but most importantly, advocating for the representation of underrepresented communities in spaces they are historically forgotten about.