A girl swallows a pill-bottle
of radicles, lets them creep
down their passage to plant
in the pit of her chest.
From between her shoulder blades
roots sprout, lift her up like wings.
From the sockets of her head
cherry blossoms bud.
she screams out a birch
tree, lets it grow toward
the sun, encompass
the shadow of what was once her
body, and grows.
I want to know if death is like planting a seed.
My fingernails, dirty, dig into soft soil, pull apart the seam,
place a small radicle in the bottom, press until it makes
an impression in the earth. Cover it, pat it, leave it.
I want to know if death feels like a rebirth—
I think I’ve imagined it so many times it doesn’t feel like a possibility,
the way it does when we are young and naïve.
It feels like the reality of what is coming—
and maybe I won’t be able to get away— God’s hand,
or my own, come down to push me—I am the radicle
I plant, covered in soft mulch and soil, pressed,
buried six feet beneath the earth, and left.
Sarah Denise Johnson is an undergraduate at Stephen F. Austin State University. Her fiction has been featured in Thrice Fiction.