Yawning Wide Nothing

This is something I wrote for my poetry seminar yesterday. We had a day off from school because there was this insane thing happening where actual ice falls from the sky and just lies in wait for you to slip and fall on it the moment you step outside…Anyway, we only had two hours to write a poem or a piece of flash fiction including ten words from a list of forty somewhere in our work. The instructions were more complicated than that, but I’ll spare you the details. I can’t say that I’ve always been a believer in organized creativity, if I was I would probably post on this blog a lot more regularly than I do. BUT, I must say this came out better than I expected. It’s actually the only thing I’ve written for this class so far that I am not horribly ashamed of. Yes to giving myself time limits and writing by numbers?


She stood at the edge of memory, calloused toes gripping the edges of her too small sandals, cracked palm open and upward. Open. Yawning like the harsh white sky, empty of rain clouds and compassion. Her skinny brown legs were planted to the ground, on a strip of red earth somewhere between despair and peaceful expiration, open mouth yawning like the cavernous nothing at the bottom of her stomach. Give us something to eat please, it’s been a few lifetimes since we were last satisfied. She strained her eyes, hoping to see past the border of beyond, looking for- what? Manna from heaven, smoke from the last coal pot, grains of salt falling like hail, a tornado- whisking across the thirsty soil and gathering her up into its empty center. A passage toward safety, the road away from Sodom and Gomorrah- don’t you know light cannot escape from a black hole? She clutched a fist to her thin chest, flimsy membrane barely containing the barren soul beneath it and the ancestral ruins constructed there, and orange seeds, and chicken feathers. She yawned and picked her teeth with a shard of bone.

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