your intrusive thoughts grow like dandelions in the summer sun

it should be simple / to know your own body / to spade open your own skin / dig between your
bones / to pull the soggy spiderwebbed roots of your own muscles / until you hear knuckles crack
as you hit rock / it should be simple / to take your fingers & feel / the moist soil of your own joints
/ work around the garden of your own bones / to preserve it like a herbarium / you remember /
how you must / label your own weeds / how you must / pluck & prune your dandelions by the root
/ dry them out / before the seeds / wisp away in the wind / you sweat in the summer sun / taste
salt in the corners of your chapped lips / you slam them in between book spines / you are aware /
your skull is specimen / you keep telling yourself / if you press hard enough / hear the crunch / of
stems & buds / you’ll forget that / beyond the grey window sills of your eyelids / another realm is
rooted inside you

Nicole Markert is a 23 year-old bisexual poet and a recipient of Eastern University’s Thyra Ferre Bjorn Creative Writing Award. Her work has been featured in Kissing Dynamite, Rust + Moth, Furrow, SWWIM Every Day, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry. She is a poetry reader for Split Lip Magazine and a double degree candidate at Rosemont College.