I wake up sweating. My nostrils are raw and peeling skin. I cough to catch my breath. I have no fever, no flu. I keep losing things. Last night it was my twelve-year-old daughter in a cornfield. We rode in a carriage without horses, a wagon really, over wild grass and knolls that valleyed to points so low we couldn’t see beyond ourselves. Tunnels opened the earth, but we were too big to make it through. Too big on the small wagon pulled along by a track. When I laughed and looked behind me for her smile, she was gone. I tried to scream that I’d lost her, but my throat was a black hole and my voice echoed inside my head. I woke to night pouring into my open windows, yelling in a voice I didn’t know. Asleep again, I was a snail. No, I must have been a slug because I thought I’d lost my shell. I was still looking for her, in a glass tank surrounded by bare-backed hermit crabs scouring sand for something that might make a suitable home. In the morning, I found her. Curled into herself on our too small couch, one skinny leg over the blanket and the other, reaching out.
Maegan Gonzales is a multi-disciplinary artist that lives with her family, propagates plants, and spills (more than she drinks) entirely too much coffee. Her poetry has appeared in the Hunger Journal, High Shelf Press, Big Muddy, Elephant Journal, and others. Connect and follow her musings on Instagram @maery_gonzales or find out more about her work here.