Road More Traveled

Written by: Hana Ryusaka

Her hands were happy, 
she fluttered them against 
a cliché sense of blue in the air
and laughed when the allure of 
the flowers further on trilled against
her skin. She submerges herself in light,
filtering through veined jade appendages.
-deeper-

Life is what she lusts for, 
twirling in circles with the moon 
to see if she can become a world of her own.
She picks roses and strips the petals 
to smell the thorns –and shakes her head
because none of her pain is original.
Even so, she breaks into a run, bitter
at the dust beneath her and
every single one of the 
footprint after footprint scars.
She might as well not even try the other road,
they tell her.
-the light bends around her, she rubs her eyes
to rid them of the green edge-

She realizes too late, the thorns are disappeared.
The path stretches on without end –it draws her into
a malachite mist. 
She inhales slowly and 
gags against the moisture that now 
condenses on the walls of her lungs.
Clawing at her tongue, she stains her fingers 
with mucous.
-The sky bleeds poisonous green arcs-     
    -what happened to the blue-

The heels of her palm against her eyes
-a vain attempt to salvage color-
she screams as she turns –
inside out, emerald. She feels them 
sour, glassing over premature
and dripping venom. Liquid
strains her veins against her clouding skin.
She vomits bark, 
desecrating the space between her toes –
putrid, willowy leaves sprout from her hair.
She looks up as if from beneath miles of
sea water, her undulating legs firmly rooted.
-I don’t want it-
   she says faintly.

and the forest groans against her weight,
settling slowly like ash on the residue of thorn-ridden existence.
-The pulse glows green-