Micaela Walley
The Trees Around My Childhood Home Go
rotten. One by one, we dodge their lifeless limbs // holes in our roof patched with pool liner and tape // I remember // playing under most of them, tripping over their roots // in the yard // It isn’t much, these memories. // What is a memory if not wishful thinking // maybe the final green leaf that succumbs to winter // I don’t know how much I have left // to give to sorrow, how much time I have // to mourn what is dead. // Most evenings I’m not even thinking about the trees // how their openings against the night sky used to form the profile of a horse. Truth is // I didn’t wish for them to live at all until they withered // haven’t looked for that horse in years // and now it’s gone. Who knows what causes the soil // to soil // what makes lightning strike // when it does. // Our family did the best we could to honor // that house, our tears // eroding // the unstable ground.

Explaining to Alexa That I Am Afraid of the Dark
Alexa, play a song that can fill all of the empty space between dusk and dawn; help me forget what is lost in transition; I mean translation; or perhaps you can translate I miss you into something more firm; more ‘come back into my life without me having to ask’; carry me on your back into some dense forest where the trees block all of the light; ravenous are they—turning sun into a meal; I wouldn’t know any better there; I wouldn’t mind being consumed in green; in fire; in song; anything but what is left of day when night presses his firm body against her.

Micaela Walley is an MFA candidate at the University of Baltimore. Her work can be found in Gravel, Occulum, ENTROPY, and Huffpost. She currently lives in Hanover, Maryland with her best friend—Chunky, the cat.