“I was wild once, and I can’t forget it.”
—Laura Marling

I stalked cotton plants as they melted through sunlight
and tossed my mind to the bottom of the pond,
tadpoles there, life grew and grew like rabbits
but I sank, so much mud on the road I’d come home
every day buried, sunken, unrecognizable
except for my longing. I knew one day I’d never return
but prolonged the thrill of the little path buried in twigs,
the noonday sky shrouded in trees, the fog’s heavy sweep,
seeking my own place among the fallen chestnuts—
somewhere dark like a doorway,
or staring into the sea after nightfall
before they came to pull me out, eyes last,
cycling between worlds like I was still of this place
these people that never walk on sand—
I cried out in the evenings until I learned to crawl,
to break it up into little pieces, to drag my eyes
out of the fire and stop seeing the smoke


Poem by Nisha Bolsey


Nisha Bolsey is a writer and activist from the Northwest living in Chicago. She is an MFA candidate in poetry at Columbia College Chicago.