What is Gone is Never Gone
The three of us stretched out with a picnic at the bottom of a hill,
basking in shared history & a lenient sun.
The comfort of a green apple’s shine & the thumb’s desire to crater.
Peeling back the polish to suck at the bruise, siphon the pulp.
I’m afraid of digging around in my pockets,
of touching the underside of velvet & of leaving it unfelt.
The crack of the blanket laid out flat is an unsheeting.
We sit cross-legged atop our makeshift raft & bob in the grass.
We talk about entropy & our threshold of unleaving,
about poetry books orphaned at sea after a plane crash.
I think about every remedy I ever copied down & never used.
I think about the moth that hovers at the porchlight after nightfall.
In burying my hands into the mess of soil tombed beneath us,
clumping dirt under the sickles of my nails, I am reminded of angles,
& how often we speak to ruin:
never face-on, like the tail of a comet.
About the Author: Ariel Machell is a poet from the Bay Area. She received her BA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She is the recipient of the 2018 Silverman Family Memorial Award in Poetry from USC. She lives with her cat, Fern, and fellow poet, Vanessa Batyko, in East Hollywood.