Larger Sizes

Maddie Marlow’s sensual prose poem explores a young woman’s subtle insecurities.

Visual art by Luke Sherman.

I draw from edges of the foreign, full of uncertain creatures teased by the mouth. Ten minutes ago he came back, abrupt and territorial. He only pays visit once a year. To wars, towards, in two words he whispers without saying a word those two words. A little closer he gets each time, and that’s what counts. He can count well, but it is different than the impersonal.

You could tell it in straight numbers, but I count it in cups of tea that have kept my hands warm and mountains I’ve passed, including the where I hide. It happened in the glance of approval at a successful pirouette. It happened when my hands were covered in black dust and the person on the other side of the counter doubted me the entire time as I said, “could you please give me ones in a larger size?”

I waved hello before it passed when I was deep under a thin shirt. It was inevitable that he would appear again. He caresses my ear in the way it would count when I was younger, but this time it is sensual. I’m teased by what it all should be and is. Happy birthday.[box]Maddie Marlow is a senior Dance Major at the Idyllwild Arts Academy. Her prose poem, Larger Sizes, won first prize in the Parallax Non-Major Writing Contest.[/box]

Army Crawling is Hard Enough

Erin Breen gives us a glimpse of her childhood escapades in her poem, Army Crawling is Hard Enough.

Army crawling is hard enough.
We army crawled through the old basement’s crawl space.
Don’t touch the pipes! Jostling them is hazardous.
We liked to use words like ‘jostling’ and ‘hazardous’.
They’re the house’s gas lines. We don’t want anything exploding.
Then we got to our destination,
where the floor dropped and distanced us from the pipes.
We had a weird little club.
It was hippie meets sci-fi,
kind of like that show “Avatar”.
A lot like “Avatar”.
I was sky and you were fire.
Then we switched.
Lizzie didn’t get an element.
She was just an annoying little sister,
but she army crawled with us anyway.
[box]Erin Breen is an Interdisciplinary Arts Major at the Idyllwild Arts Academy. Her poems, "I hated being little" and "Army Crawling is Hard Enough," were short-listed in the Parallax Non-Major Writing Contest.[/box]