MY MAMA WAS A FIREBIRD AND THAT MAKES ME A FLAME

Mallory Pearson


thunder behind the moon again,

blocking out the light.

my trauma has legs that carry it back to my chest

even after i push it out of the car

back on a dirt road behind the church.

sap in my mouth again

so i gag and spit at the taste,

can’t seem to let it touch my tongue

for fear of drawing tears.

i struck a match in your mama’s basement

and your ghost blew it out

before the light got a chance to burn itself

into my eyes.

anyways, the cellar lit up like the dead trees

lining the old woman’s property, faerie ring

of fire and brimstone and all that.

the old well in the clearing reminds me of

that time i got in the bathtub fully clothed

and you pinched the skin behind my ear

to make me wake up.

i ate berries with my fingers for stain

and biked down a gravel road until

the heat peeled my skin from my bones

and the tires went flat, stuck full

of pine pins and needles.

the sound of the wind makes my knees

feel crocheted, loose bits of thread

hugging the air for the treasure taste;

it’s not in my cards to be a burning girl

but still i tuck wood under my shirt.

my trauma has legs

that kick their way up my throat.

my mama was a sword eater and even she

had to spit it out.


Mallory Pearson is a 21-year-old painter, jeweller, and poet currently living in Brooklyn, NY. She has a great interest in spirituality, sexuality, and femininity, and spends most of her time quickly getting bored of new hobbies.