Gossamer – Ottavia Paluch

There is a sharpness in things that are softest
            to the touch of a hand soaked with any liquid

If it is water then I know it will never belong to me
            and if it is blood then I must question who it came from

Or how blood is just blood until it’s lava
            and it pours down from the volcanoes of my face

Whenever I look for different things to breathe in
            I always leave with a spider’s tangled breath

My emotions are highest when my nose can barely breathe
            and yet the air is all around me

or that I’m empty when I look at the glass
            and forget that there could ever be water

The emptiness is most hollow when I can take a bite
            out of a tree and mistake it for gossamer

Had I been a spider I would trap my problems
            into a web full of things worth stressing over

A language that teaches me how to speak
            or that tells me there is nothing worth saying

Instead I am a fish in a hollowed-out sea
            and the water is swimming towards me

Like a fish in a hollowed-out sea
            I wash myself in my own innocent saliva

It tangles like a web in my throat and covers
            all the things my tongue forgot how to say
Ottavia Paluch

Ottavia Paluch is a disabled high school student from Ontario, Canada. A featured Gigantic Sequins Teen Sequin for 2018, her work is published or forthcoming in Four Way Review, Kissing Dynamite, Room, and Ghost City Review, among other places. She’s also an alumnus of the Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program.

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