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Variegated, by Madeleine Ackerman

Madeleine Ackerman

My love for you is green, I’m told:
is freshly cut, or unseasoned—
is yet to bloom; not yet quite ripe.
Is not blue: livid with effort—
unbruised by blows, or holding breath;
is yet to wring the sky like Zeus.
Is not red: of rage, or of fire;
neither of danger, sex, or meat—
is yet to taste all these things blood.
Is not yellow: swollen with light;
also to flee, show cowardice—
yet to stain our bellies thusly.
My love for you is green, I’m told—
it feels ripe enough to bruise with
blood so hot the wound is lambent—
but my love for you is green, I’m told,
scream that I can’t see you clearly—
red, blue and yellow have pooled, soured:
This is the greening of decay.

Bio: Madeleine Ackerman is in her first year of a creative writing PhD and spends most of her time making nervous cups of tea. Her work explores intersections of trauma, affect and feminist life writing.



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