Melissa Reeser Poulin's poem "Yellow" was the winner of our 2016 Janet B. McCabe poetry prize and is featured in Issue 40: Nowhere Near.
Melissa will be participating in Ruminate Happenings 2020.
MELISSA REESER POULIN
I am making you a kimono,
yellow as the ordinary things of the world
you do not know. There are dandelions here,
sunlight on the butter dish.
There is melting and gold
and cling peaches in juice.
You move now freer than I am:
naked and weightless, swimming.
I am making you clothes, though
they bother me: tags and edges,
buttons and zippers keeping me in.
They say this dress
will make things easy
when you’re new. Open and fold,
snap, snap, you’re ready—yellow
as a young duck, a phone book,
the creek after rain. The yellow
of canary and caution. Slow down.
The birth that waits for you is real
as a lemon or leaf, hard
as the soap on the sink ledge.
I am pressing out seams, wanting
to soften the blow. Picturing
rupture and light tearing in,
torrents of sound. The everyday walls
leaning toward you. So many things
I can’t explain. Subtractive, starting
with light. Most visible color. The yellow
of Judas, yellow stars, yellowcake.
I am sewing so slowly.
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