Spit Island

 Soph Bonde/Argot Magazine

Soph Bonde/Argot Magazine

where trees grow gloriously but not too high
where constellations spill their milk at night
where you can throw a rock without hitting a neighbor's window
water the hastas around the rotting barn as you spit

red mud bundle where peaceable people retire
and kids end up, end up again
a citizen conveyor belt
where due to a yard of flowers I turned to poetry

fall leaves sent up tiny exclamations, love so easy, 
chapping winds an easy price for annual currants on time,
those and schoolkids' favorite jeer that's so gay
'cause everything on this island is so damn fertile

seacoast borders everything, reeking of fish
I watched her dive, so easy not to admit
I hear the economy's failing
I hear all the kids are leaving

all I see when I return are trees and crops and things
no plays or concerts or easy entertainment say the guys
but it's worth it to have the space, find our own things to do
I couldn't take the city

maybe I'd take you there, keep you in a trailer as if that would work
grind our deviant trails into the red dirt
elevate loneliness to virtue due to the soothing view
surrender your liberty for berries in our mouths


Melanie Bell is the coauthor of a nonfiction book, The Modern Enneagram, and a writer of poetry, essays, and fiction for publications including Jacket2, Grain, The Fiddlehead, xoJane, Every Day Fiction, and Autostraddle (including a column on queer lit).