Lessons from a Ventriloquist

3 Jun 2014

Melissa Ho



& i didn’t know until november had left, three little kids passed out

in the washroom. mother said to stop drinking the detergent, but she

didn’t know how to scrub clean our wrists swollen into prunes from

the glass. i miss the rain and the seventeen pebbles / last winter i made


ii. (for elliott)



a tiny red wagon. i painted it with acrylic syrup and smeared this into

fingerprints. & your cheeks were soft and you didn’t know this world

or the boys who just graduated from high school & even when i was

carved smaller, i knew just how to tuck them into bed & you, even now


tell me when the protein begins to slip off your skin in ribbons; i should

know how to mend it. & when my feet are fossils and i am microscopic / i just

want you to see that i was full of something, even if i didn’t know what. you can

no longer watch me in the doors nailed shut but i am glued to the keyholes,

& i tried to, i did


teach me how to sever the word split.

teach me how to whisper open me up, just like photographs that beg for ink.

teach me what to be / how i was so much more.


you did know that i was only fifteen, right?


Photo credit: kris krüg

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