Though it happened. When I threw
the plant across the kitchen counter,
I never meant to crush its unstraight stalk
crude with green sureness, cracking
pottery chips across the tile floor.
I meant to scoop
handfuls of dirt,
warm damp premise, hold the sweet
amaryllis bulb in my hands,
the soft promise of a newborn’s fragile skull,
mold a knuckled cavern, reopen birth,
soften the black from where it came, arc
its partial sun, soak the water’s light,
and raise shoots peeking out like fingers.
Natalie Kawam is a poet and writer. In May 2016, she was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize, and published with the Academy the following September. Her poetry has also appeared in Cleaver Magazine and Crab Orchard Review. She is an undergraduate student at Barnard College of Columbia University.
“I never meant to be mean,” first appeared in the Crab Orchard Review (Vol. 23 / No. 1- December, 2017)