Breath & Shadow

A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature

Summer 2013

Volume 10 Issue 3


Breath & Shadow

Summer 2013

Volume 10 Issue 3

By Milena Nast

a moss began to coat my throat

layers, layers, layers

of yellow needles

it grew out of my center

like a catching virus for trees

sprouts sent out tiny shoots of feeling


collected on my chest

my shoulders

accepted the weight

of saplings

I did not protest becoming a forest

though I might have made

a better meadow

though I might have liked

to wear a river

across my hip like a sash

I let the canopy of leaves

cover my eyes like a veil

how many others have worn this forest

like a shabby fur coat?

how many other forests

have taken root

in the soul of a wanderer?

my blood slows like sap

when I am deep in dark mud

I worry the swamp

is inching toward my toes

vines and skunkweed

twining up my ankles

I am only ground

only grounded

only a passive gardener

allowing weeds in a turnip patch

my flesh feeds sanguine trees

maples nursing like thirsty giants

mushrooms pick at the cartilage

take it, take the sallow skin

I will not deny the worms

the soil takes me in with

sloppy embraces

so slowly, so slowly

I dissolve into

the earth

Milena Nast is a bipolar student at Georgetown University. Her work has appeared in Word Riot, Punchnel's, Marco Polo Arts Mag, NY underscore, The Millerton News and others.

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