tree circles 2

By Stephanie Ervin

was not born delicate of
sea foam. She was conceived
from calcium in a clam shell,
the product of planning and
timely deposits.

With ripped nails she pried
the shell open, spat out a
mouthful of salt water,
plucked tiny pearls from
between her jagged teeth.

Puckered hands pulled
locks of seaweed out of
her stinking hair, and for
hours she wrestled barnacles
from her soured flesh.

After paddling to land
with large, greedy hands,
she scrubbed the salt from
her skin under a waterfall.

She combed her hair,
found the freshest flowers
to stain her skin, filed
down her teeth and nails.

Then she hunted for lovers,
feeding off of their infatuations
and heartaches, eating love
alive with each gulping breath.

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