I Haunt My Own Crops, Welcomed Weeds

By Sara Perkins

I Haunt My Own Crops

The cornfields sparkle. It’s January
and there isn’t any snow and there hasn’t
been any snow and the cornfields sparkle
in the disorienting midnight sun. We’re in
the field behind your house and you push
me in the snow—no wait. I’m alone in my
car driving in the country. Or no—you’re
there next to me, I’m driving, now you’re
driving. At least the corn is always there—I
mean the hayfield. Or are they soybeans?

You take me to church because you worry
about my soul. We’re sitting in a room so
large I can’t breathe—or am I just blinded by
the accusatory light? We’re on the stage, we’re
in the last pew on the left—no, my left. Every-
one is surrendering toward Heaven, tearing our
shirts and slicing our arms and I’m alone at
summer camp—wait, now I’m repenting on
Broadway and my knuckles are white and my
left thumb is bleeding—weren’t you supposed
to be sitting right here next to me?

It’s raining and you kiss me—or is it just
cloudy? You’re under your car and I watch
wide-eyed as you juggle your tires. Now there’s
two of you, now he’s in my car as we kiss
behind your Jeep—oh wait, were you driving
the Jimmy that day? The three of us eat pizza
in the back of my van. You drop sausage on
the cardboard beneath us and my van reeks
until I throw the whole thing away to rot in
my backyard.

Oh, there’s that sparkle again! It’s definitely
a cornfield, how could I forget? Hold up—I
remember now. The cornfields are iridescent
as the sun is reborn in ice, and I am driving in
the country next to my heart and soul so I can
see you, even though you won’t see me because
I’m a ghost now. Wait—why am I the ghost if
you haunt me every time I wear red or see
half-eaten, crusty jars of expired peanut
butter in my cabinets?

“Muddy Corn Maze” © Ada Be (https://www.flickr.com/photos/adambelles/3936737920/)

Welcomed Weeds

Your body is my roadmap, every
mole a destination and every line
and crevice a path toward my
suburban journey. I can see
our white-picket fence in your
mouth and our two cats—a
Russian Blue and a tabby cat,
Halloween black—playing in the
curls of your hair. Your nose brings
the porch we will sit under to watch
the spring thunderstorms and your
ears are the cobblestone path in
the backyard to the garden that
grows plump tomatoes and
voluptuous heads of lettuce.

Your navel holds the lake we swam
in as kids and the hair under your arms
the woods we walked on our first date.
Your fingertips tell ten distinctive times
you have read my body like Braille, hungry
for knowledge and burning with desire to
understand the constellations on my arms
that wrap around my torso and down my
back. You greet my foot like an old
friend, climbing the mountains of my
knuckles and into the valley of my arch.

My bony hands seek forgiveness
in the salvation of your calico beard
where I once wove yarrow and ground
ivy. Water damage drips from my untreated
rafters and the singed beams crack under the
weight of my fire moss. You tend the
lawn and repair the walls, but insist that the
unanticipated dandelions on my breasts
and the creeping buttercups of my faults
are beautiful and don’t need to be
destroyed to have a perfect life.

Sara Perkins is a sophomore at the University of Indianapolis, currently studying Professional Writing. In theory, she enjoys playing the saxophone and painting in her free time. She was once called a hipster after eating a cup of fruit with chopsticks, but her friends assured her that she was Grunge, not hipster.

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