When they cut you open, they said you bled stars

Madeline Brancel

Madeline Brancel

Madeline Brancel grew up in rural Wisconsin and has since lived and worked in Brazil, Portugal, and Mozambique. She is at her most joyful when making unexpected friendships while traveling, dancing to jazz in her kitchen, and studying a new language. She now lives in Rhode Island and is pursuing a Master's in International Education Policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Madeline's approach to writing is to let poetry bottle up inside her until it erupts onto the page, usually in the afternoons when she should be working. You can follow her on Twitter at @MadelineBrancel.

The bunny soft glow falls languid,
seeping into the fibers I so tenderly draped
over the prostrate length of you.

You barely stir. Your breath
is a steady tide so I
follow your cadence with my own, our moons
swinging, skin oozing
eucalyptus and myrrh. I see your sap draining from
the pulp of you where they drilled.
The doctors whisper behind sterile curtains
that they’ve never tasted
a syrup like yours.

They unearth your trunk and carry it
to me in a bundle,
cradled in the innocent enclaves of their elbows, sapless,
still breathing. I promise you new soil,
a well-lit room, a pot that’s too small but still
cozy, maybe even pancakes
to share as you
root.

When we get home, my forest drinks your breeze
and our cheeks run rouge
with your hibiscus, my red allium.
You leave me windswept; I leave you as you are now,
sleeping. Your first spring leaf peeks through your
tender bark and
my chest opens,
awestruck,
as it
unfolds.

© Short Édition
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