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 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_.