For I am numerous and souled,
I will not be a forest for you.
pine needle cacophony underfoot
moss carpet to soften your steps
tangled brush beneath your heel.
I am not yours to raze.
I will be a murmuration of starlings
against the sky, an affront of black
wings beating small rhythms, a crescendo,
a final dive and pivot upwards.
I will be this crest of dark sheltered
under your canopy. A fury of energy
with no place to dissipate until I harden
a cruel, twisted thing of love. But know, I will
not be a forest for you. There will be no comfort
in my boughs,
among my breasts,
betwixt my sex
or in the concentric circles I’ve cultivated for protection.
nor will you ever reach that small green sprout inside me again.
This place where I am still
succulent and spring is only sooted at the edges.
Athena Dixon is Founder of Linden Avenue Literary Magazine, Poetry Editor of The Reprint, a Managing Editor for Z-Composition, and Co-Founder of Specter Literary Magazine. Her creative non-fiction can be found at For Harriet and her poetry has appeared in publications such as Tawdry Bawdry, Emerge Literary Journal, and Blackberry: A Magazine.
She writes, edits, and resides in NE Ohio.
Melyssa Anishnabie is a self-taught artist and amateur photographer with a slight fetish for gauze, bones and rusty things. She calls Toronto home, where she lives with 4 cats, 2 dogs and the occassional wayward pigeon. Don’t worry, she won’t catch bird flu.
Her favorite activities are sleeping, canoeing, exploring abandoned places with her camera, playing World of Warcraft (horde ftw) and of course creating in both digital and traditional mediums.
She supports her pets and her art by working as a photo editor and by pretending to be really cool people on tv.