if you were feeling clever, you would say life dealt you a bad hand and that was all there was to it. you were pressed as a flower to the yellowed page of a book, left between musty volumes until your petals were brittle and dry. you were something to be enjoyed, touched by nameless hands in dark rooms. when you sat in the garden, long legs curled beneath your lap, back curved in an inelegant slouch, you pointed to a flower made of speckled sunlight through the shade of a drawn curtain. ‘in the language of flowers,’ you said, ‘the yellow carnation means i’m sorry i cannot be with you.’ but your life is not an invitation to despair, your body is not made for show-and-tell presentations of rotten affection. you are magnolias sprouting from thick bramble, glorious pink so saturated it bites at the tired eye.
Alissa Salem is a junior at SUNY Fredonia. Salem studies animation/illustration, with a nifty minor in creative writing. They enjoy drawing, playing strange instruments, and the cute things in life.