by Hannah Dow —

A rainstorm would be convenient
now, but you were never one
for that, always preferred enigma
and surprise. The more I asked,
the more you took away. First,
the color green, so I said

take the green, but leave
the flower, its husk is too
fragile, even for your hands.

You left me with a fistful of stems,

see the care with which I hold
this flower. You call it purple,
but its infinity is my family.

You promised to return in abundance.

You took the stream next, and its fish,
too, ladled all into your mouth
as if you’d never eat or drink again.
So I said

take the stream and take
the fish, but leave the gold, the
only hope left for this century.

But you left me with my toes in the shallow
bed I began to call my grave.
And you said

you cannot live on gold alone,
it will disappear from this century
as quickly as I will from the next.

You remained,

saw the ocean and knew
that it was good. I understood
your devastating greed,

if you take the ocean you will die
of thirst. If you take the ocean,
you will wrench the moon from its perch.

And you said

foolish child, if I unhang
the moon I will undo everything
I have done these last three days.

And so you drowned me in a darkness
punctured not even by white stars.

Hannah Dow is a PhD student in English/Creative Writing (poetry) at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Harpur Palate, Minetta Review, and Slush Pile Magazine.