Molding the Linens

 ︎︎︎ Vanessa Kristal
︎ FEB 15, 2022

Every man a meshwork
straining the best parts of me down to mold

no, a victory
patterned father
priest of absence
rust rimmed
ridge of promises
bequeathed in only flight

no, a map
unchiseled by ocean
unchained by land
floating aimless
with abandon
bolding the colony his

but what of thigh
your hand opening
of fingers
their tips slipping
of bending all that matter into ice
into firm flight birdless

you stung me vinegar lipped and lonely
until I fermented myself into myself

a stranger before my own bedsheets

molding the linens

Vanessa Kristal
believes in the power of language and education. Since receiving her teaching credential from UCLA and completing the Hollyhock Fellowship program at Stanford, she’s been teaching high school English for twelve years in Northern and Southern California. She currently lives in Marin County, near the Redwoods and her books.