Balloon

Tatiana Ryckman

My limbs are too short
even for me.
They don’t fit their sleeves and pant legs. So
I’ve got cuffs around my wrists and ankles,
they ebb and
flow like pockets, like handbags, like
trick-or-treat baskets.
They balloon into
balloons that carry lint and dust
and other balloons
bits of chocolate my wallet a pack of
smokes; keys to things I don’t want
to open, keys to things I’ve forgotten, to wine; a lock
of someone’s sister’s hair,
both of my balled fists and
all of the items I meant to pick up
at the grocery store
last week, but left on a scrap of paper instead.
There’s one line of a shredded note and that thing that broke
off my car,
an email from my grandmother that says
health fails
and seeds for next spring,
that cat I loved most and a book to read
while waiting in lines in obvious places.
This height is a thing I wear like a house
then bring around to your apartment
that I fill with my smallness,
waiting to see if I’ll fit.

Tatiana Ryckman was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and writes from Austin, Texas. Her work has appeared on the Tin House blog, Unshod Quills, Music & Literature, Marco Polo Arts Mag, Marathon Literary Review, and HOOT Review.

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