Ella Rous

I pressed my face inward, 

into a facsimile of dried cherry—

let it drift, flat and withered, into the other salamander dust. 

I am not gone. My fingerprints left grooves in the metal wall

of your abhorred chest.


For you, I cut off my tongue and placed it

on the asphalt at the Texas poolside.

You didn’t want it, but you did, all the same.

You were lying flat. I watched, with precise incaution,

the loving snakes make taffy of your nomadic skin, 

and wrap themselves inside.

You laughed at me: “something’s different” and smashed 

your matchstick elbows across the concrete.


My appetite smallens under your watchful emptiness.

The energy in its never-destruction becomes

the heat storm in my heart and hands.

Nothing will come of nothing: 

lightning is choked into silence by cold,

gossamer fingers.

Ella Rous is a rising junior at the Westwood School in Dallas, Texas. She is preparing to enter the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, and attended the Iowa Young Writer's Studio online course in poetry in 2018. Today, her favorite words are sepulchre, pearl, and tide.