and i tell them how, when watered by blood, flowers will grow facing two things: the moon & a soft rebellion

By Quinn Edlin

you see yourself against her eyes, glazed and sleepless
the first mirror you’ve looked in
since the sun fell from your sky & the ground turned parched beneath
the contorted souls of your feet

it is ninety seven degrees outside,
she wipes sweat balloons clean from off your upper lip

kisses the pad of her thumb like your perspiration
resting between the prints of her finger
read the lines
her new favorite poem, or
the lyrics to a gospel song.

and you have never been reaped from the land of your own making
unearthed & carried home like this

how does she consider you something worth praying to?

she tells you that you are what sings beneath
unruffled soil
& what nestles in the arms of a bright moon

there is something to be said for a
body torn by its
own war
stitching itself back together with barbed wire

for hair
finally growing between brows
like bean sprouts among pummeled land

what you call
a lonely desert of too much quiet
carried by rageful wind

can sing
& you were a pool of melted, melted, melted
for ages

until you let

lightning grapple with your pupils
and win; thunder hiss in your ear, a hiss drenched in syrup
asks if you remember what it shook into you
everything true and
earlier, mighty hard to hold onto; said:

your tongue is a veined clay pathway at midnight,
watch as stars and dead hummingbirds
dance upon your tired

turn your waistline a bent tree branch
& sink into
frightening and earnest

rattlesnake fangs may seek comfort among your
barked torso
let them sink
carry heavy venom with a shy wickedness
and feel pretty with it

tie antelope intestines around tattered curls
& when malevolent mouths yearn for a halo of raw meat,
call intestines
pink silk ribbons

be blood cozy at the edge of a dull knife,
be the blood, honey and salted and stained

kiss the blade
leave your pools of melted metal sword
amid shaken dust
and dance to the orchestra of
grinding molars and wild, unbeaten skin.

and in the frenzy of this thing she calls
a ceremony
she reminds you

that there is something to be said for desolate land
quenched by a gentle carnage

how unexpected, that she be the lighting and the thunder,
& i be the desert and blooming again

Quinn Edlin

Quinn Edlin

Quinn Edlin is a poet from Berkeley, California. At the age of fifteen, Quinn began writing with Youth Speaks, an organization that supports her in cultivating her essence as a writer and performer. She is a finalist of the Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam. She has performed in the Sydney Goldstein theatre for Youth Speaks’ 'Bring the Noise for Martin Luther King' show, along with other performances at venues including the Masonic. Quinn teaches weekly workshops in her High school's Spoken Word Club. Quinn roots her work in the revolution of the Queer and Black/Brown body, and the world surrounding it. She cherishes the impact of art that serves to create community, whilst simultaneously allowing for introspection.