How Man + Earth Was Created

by Lydia Knowles

How Man + Earth Was Created

          1. 

take flattened clay and a paintbrush –– the field is sweet, almost, empty

and bare.     soft umber, smearings of yellow ochre to meet watered-down

cerulean blue.       wheat ripe and thick, with gold, with sunshine.  

              take a field.     make it Our’s. paint a man in the middle of it, a scar

where one of his ribs are. He doesn’t know where it’s gone. He doesn’t care.

sunlight shines on his skin, sunlight hides away from his skin, sunlight creates red patches.

Stings. 

His head is full. scrambled and nonsensed and full. this is enough.

this should be enough. this needs to be enough. now He has the paintbrush.

tells himself I want to own this and gives himself a house. builds a fire

and tells himself I need to own this and now there are more men. more limbs, more 

jaws that open and close.

More missing ribs. We belong here, said in harmony. 

           2. 

what’s a home but a few neighborhoods. 

             what’s a neighborhood but a few suburbs. 

                                                        what’s a suburb but a slew of cities?

             Is that demolition I hear, or are you just happy to see me? 

       

            3. 

the paintbrush is erased. or replaced. this changes every time we tell it. 

              these men with missing ribs break their bones for fun

and call themselves saviors. one says We’ll kill you another says Leave your own land.

these men swarm and take and break and ruin and destroy and never apologize.

I’m sorry is too foreign. I’m sorry is too strong of a way to take back what’s already happened. 

           4. 

in 2017, the earth’s surface temperature was around 0.84 degrees warmer than the 20th century

average.                           we’ve destroyed so much we don’t know how to stop.

Why are we doing this? Because we can. Dig a hole. Make it better. Or worse. We don’t know

anymore.

              we’d break our own arms to spread more, to turn each other on with 

              sweeter, bigger, brighter. 

 

the world takes my hands and makes a waste out of me. or i make

a waste out of it.                         the story changes every time we tell it. 

Fragments of in Which We Live Happily Ever After

by Lydia Knowles

Fragments of in Which We Live Happily Ever After

or, torn love letters given by two love birds in their youth 

 

       1. 

here i am, wrinkled and weary, with nothing but fate

to keep my tendons / ligaments from slipping from their places. 

               there’s a crease where my eyes meet together

               there’s a dent where a dimple used to relax

here we are, wrinkled and weary, with nothing but fate

to keep us from falling apart. 

 

             you take hold of my arm, fingers sliding into soft flesh, 

                                          and you say wait, it’s not your time yet. 

             

and i thank you. 

       2. 

if sweetness is supposed to temporary, then yours isn’t that. yours

tastes like raspberry sugar underneath my tongue,   that goes in and

out with sweet – sour – sweet movements     /      I love you, you

told me, once, and it sounded like 

              it belonged in your mouth, from your throat, and nowhere else. 

 

       3. 

Dearest Lover 

              My Lovely 

                           Darling Beloved, 

I love you. I love you. I love you.                  i cannot say it enough.       it sounds beautiful 

 

                                       from my mouth.

spilling like gold. 

 

                                                                           I love you. I love you. I love you. 

 

       4. 

here you   are, wrinkled and weary, with nothing but fate

to keep your tendons / ligaments from slipping from their places. 

               there’s a crease where your nose squints when you’re cross.

               there’s a small imprint where the feather – end of your makeup brush hits.

here we are, wrinkled and weary, with nothing but fate

to keep us from falling apart. 

 

             you take hold of my arm, fingers sliding into soft flesh, 

                                          and you say wait, it’s not your time yet. 

and i thank you.

Lydia Knowles is a poet and fiction writer from Atlanta, Georgia. They are currently a Sophomore at Agnes Scott college, where they study Philosophy and Africana Studies. Their written work has appeared in 30 North Literary Magazine, and they have self published a few of their pieces. Though writing is one of Lydia's many passions, they also enjoy making embroidered gifts for their friends.

Lydia Knowles

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