The Daily Work of Caretaking and Witness – Part IV.
The next time I die I will rot my way out of this skin.
When I become a mother again I will plant my womb in a fish tank, take notes on embryo growth, draw smiley faces on the glass in fog, and go about my day.
The next time I fall in love I will drop mushroom-cloud rainbow rings on my tongue and blow kisses to my feet. This will mean something when the world’s roots have rung dry and all that we have are bruises in every color. In this love I intend to bruise.
When I kiss again I will taste for rainwater and when I do I will spit the acid from my lips and taste again.
When I meet my body I will shake hands with it, admire its bruises, and ask how to get inside, to which my body will reply easily.
The next time I am born I will do it differently.
I will ask “How long do we remain strangers to those people we let inside of us?” and someone will answer.
Lena Ziegler is the editor and co-founder of the literary journal The Hunger. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Kentucky University, and is pursuing her PhD in Rhetoric and Writing at Bowling Green State University. She has been a finalist in GoldLine Press’s Non-fiction Chapbook contest. Her work has appeared in Yes, Poetry, The Seventh Wave, Gambling the Aisle, Red Earth Review, Miracle Monocle, Breathe Free Press, Fredericksburg Literary and Arts Review, and others.