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  • Writer's pictureArnav Swamy

When the Drifts Take the Dandelions

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I have heard tales of those who do not have tears to shed when they discover how to cry.

Father says that their lives have disintegrated, like riffling through the books

that write them in velvet and mansions. The womb has always been

stained with faded ink.

My fingers feverishly flip my fate, which swims in ear and tints my sky. I am not

an uncommon monstrosity: my peers and I stand together as

we gaze incredulously at the stars.

And so, my fable begins like this. It begins on pastel tangerine horizons,

grinding coffee with a pure unknowing that suns

never set. I yearn to pick up the pen, press fresh ink down till dusk.

But I’ve listened to them. I’ve learned from them. Pens are for the

vulnerable. It is a chant that flees lips though it was never uttered.

And it echoes.

So my collar tears as I am dragged into a good life,

tearing like the postcard I’d meant to stamp to Father animating a story of glory.

He’s heard them all. They wrote a good life, so

I must plow through alien corporate soil, flail for that tangible thing of respect,

and splay damp bills on tables for a landlord that’s been seething since divorce.

It is a good life, but I weep tears laced with bitter dregs, for

A woman has at last found the key to a heart I had locked away and no one told me how

she did it. I can finally slip that diamond on her finger and

I can finally lift my baby boy, though he is blemished by the faded ink that marred me.

I didn’t realize Father has been watching me silently. Why can I not recognize him?

Teeth bared, tinged grape pink… giddy mumble…

he can’t. I peer into a mirror when I clench his hand, which only slackens when

betrayal constricts his will. He had lived a good life, they said.

So at last, I raise my pen: I lay him beneath the dandelion field

I had never noticed as a child.

… My tears are at last falling. He had lived a good life, they lied.

A blazing gash of twilight scarlet pierces my sky for the first time.


The sunset prevails.



wind blown,




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