On Childhood By Emma Bleker

On Childhood

I remember a puzzle mat
I could not possibly remember
but of which there are no photographs.

I remember a spiral staircase.
Sleepwalking to the bottom and
pissing myself.
The most miraculous thing
about surviving a climb
you do not remember
is that you did not fall.
The body’s instinct, I am told,
is to survive.

I remember the dog we found
near my father’s house.
My sister and I laughed, and loved it,
until we ran too fast
and it mistook play chasing
for something more
and, what began as a gargle,
soon bore teeth.
We did not look it in the eye after that.
We no longer ran down the street.

I remember running away
and sleeping in the tunnel slide
down the street.
I am told it was because
I am stubborn. I am told
there was no fight, and how could I
know? There are no
photographs.

I remember praying
that I could believe in a god.

I remember being told
it was not so bad
and knowing I was being told
my father would die, soon.
I remember holding my brother
close to me and
wondering how hard
skin had to be pushed
before it turned the color growling from
underneath my mother’s foundation.

I remember rainbow sherbert
on the back porch.

I remember my mother telling me
not to go outside.
That she needed to talk to me
about a thing called death
as a round tarp
the size of my dog
was dragged from the yard.

I remember being told
I would grow up,
and waking up this morning.
By Emma Bleker

Biography:

Emma Bleker is a 22 year old writer based out of Virginia. She has previously been published or is forthcoming in Philosophical Idiot, Persephone’s Daughters, Cahoodaloodaling, Yellow Chair Review, Thought Catalog, Rising Phoenix Review, and Skylark Review, among others. She probably wants to be your friend.

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