I cut an umbilical cord today. Plastic,
raw, weakly bound to an animal found
buried in my closet. Long ago
in a den, a taxidermist
foraged its seams for loot, wary
of sewing attachment. Thievery
turned to alchemy. I coddled the rabbit
on a leash, buttons to gold. Its belly
swelled with rainwater, bliss, later maggots.
My bed’s canopy was a canvas. Violent foot paddles
launched a thousand upside-down ships, tufting waves
that fondled buckets of treasure.
Calmer seas invite grief. Pebbles for a game of hopscotch.
I catapult them through spilled milk; the sheet’s cerebral
film engulfs my wishes in three jumps.
I built a shrine to her garden trestle on my bureau.
She harvests vines, I harvest dead flies. Our symbiosis
feeds off of order in pairs.
We share shut windows. Trapped pests
and leaves clonk the glass: prison inmates
surviving by the ebb of our dinner bell.
By Fiora Elbers-Tibbitts
A senior creative writing major at Walnut Hill School for the Arts.