by Melissa Slayton
Whether it was the cinnamon time, fall,
or spring, the time of the mayapples,
you could smell our bonfires from a hundred miles out at sea,
and the coast swam with clotted villages–
a thick mass–and the trees fell and fell
and the trout swam in this river big as dogs.
So many people spoke my language
that at bedtime my brain throbbed with their words,
words to describe my palms, the sky,
the village changing, how we’d have to go.
I knew I was born for love;
I waited for it to feel
like slipping into black water,
scalded, soaking up the sun,
water so light I barely float,
I barely fight it.
Melissa Slayton graduated with a degree in creative writing from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC, and serves as assistant editor with Vine Leaves Press in Athens, Greece. Her poems and stories can be found in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, San Pedro River Review, Apalachee Review, Lyric Magazine, Comstock Review, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, An Anthology about Writing by Steady Moon Press, Pinesong, South Carolina Yearbook, and TINGE. She also attends the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley for fiction.