imaginary arrows

i am not far from the song of the meadowlark
and i never intended to play house,
or take your name,
or remain transfixed by the duties of make-believe mothers.

i grind my teeth with the aftermath
of things that never happened
but had meaning.
just like the perfect pines have meaning when bearing witness

to an isolated bark of a lonely dog.
you eat chalk to distract yourself
from feeling anything,
from sinking into quicksand on all fours.

the beauty of a milkweed pod distracts you
and moments later the severe stings
of imaginary arrows piercing deeper
swell your flesh.

i am hidden in the tall grass of an endless ravine
sucking on a slick blade.
the crystals in my eyes chase fallen light.
i do not heed the abating calls of brethren

because i do not yet have the correct count
of scalps and sacrifices at my belt.
but i will.
and the blood on my chin won’t resemble how it was

because that’s how it never used to be.
all that matters now is this mountain i’m beholding
and i’m only trying to climb higher,
higher still.

imaginary arrows
– by Elsa Starfish.Wolf