Reflections on Things That Rot – Mel Ruth

Sinking slowly. Sulfuric marshes
quicksand my sneakers, the bitter

sweetness is cloying. Dead-eyed
fish, buoyant and bloated bodies

landlocked around me. This
is the process of life leaving: the mushed

muddiness of an apples flesh. The slow
browning of petals as they crush. The way

the belly bulges, puss-filled sores swelling
and splitting beneath bandaged coils. This too

has sunken a room’s old wood, your weight
kissing stone through molded floor. This body

a marsh with caved teeth and brittle
nails. I bite my own as I watch you sink.
Mel Ruth

Mel Ruth is an MFA candidate at the Arkansas Writers Workshop. Mel has pieces published in Pleiades, Emerson Review, and elsewhere. Mel was a Slice Literary Magazine “Bridging the Gap” Finalist, and their chapbook “A Name Among Bone,” was a semi-finalist in the 2020 Black River Chapbook Contest. Follow them on Twitter @_Mel_Ruth_.

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