B&W circle

When the Future is Worth Discovering

Alix Wood

And we sit on the porch
drinking embalming fluids like wine,
wondering which day will be our last.
Already we dream of our baby,
though that isn’t for years to come,
only a thought like a gentle calendar
reminder popping up on your screen.

On Sundays, we take walks in the woods
out back, trudging through snowbanks
and eartips frozen like edges of a colander.
Our feet the size and shape of beaver tails,
tracing narrow trails along the icy neck of the lake.

Each year we ache for roses and more roses,
briar to break us down into mere particles.
Your mind web and fly, a bloody whisker,
trickled remnants of bursted blister,
your eyes shining like we have something to live for.

One year you will send me a single tiger lily
and a handful of shamrocks like moth wings
preserved beneath a pane of glass,
keeping our oily fingers from damaging its scales.
How to touch something beautiful is to ruin it.

How to touch something beautiful is to wake it,
fill its sour cracks with baby powder and cement.
I confess I am in love with you, and this world,
and only prophesize our hearts will sink away into the sand
like Ozymandias, like a lizard, like something to be found.

Alix Wood was raised by two mothers on Anna Maria Island, Florida. At the University of Vermont, she was the editor-in-chief of The Gist, the school’s literary and art magazine. Her work has been published by SWWIM, Poached Hare, and Impossible Archetype and will be published by Bear Review and Screen Door Review. Alix’s poetry frequently centers around the body, bisexuality, trauma, family relationships, mental illness, and the natural world. She is currently an MFA student in poetry at North Carolina State University.