Searching For Salt and Finding the Bearded Woman

Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

I sought the taste of neon in the morning, its glow an apparent absence only present in the irises of night crawlers dripping pale, waiting for the sun.

I searched my skin for treasure troves and salt quarries, only ever finding pieces of paper torn and folded into creases and scars.

I hunted through dreams to days too cold for the scent of tangerines to wet my fingers, or apricots to taint my tongue with sweetness.
There’s no luck for senses seeking fruits in the winter.

When the ice cracked and dripped through drainpipes, I came to find the circus, folding origami flowers out of a field’s colors, somewhere, not here.
The bearded woman grabbed my hand, she said I was an acrobat and not to bend to break. She taught me how to do both.

Whatever rope line led to reality was neither real nor rope nor strands of thickly braided hair, though it resembled all three.
And then, somehow, came the sun.


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