I tell people I was born near the ocean during a hurricane. It's a lie,
but it keeps them from telling me that near farmland during a drought
is the reason I have no children. The auguries at the train stop say I'll leave
this world trailing leaves from my pockets while driving off a cliff edge.
I think it's more likely I'll scoop up stones & save them in my shoes
while marching headlong into the deep end of a pond. I dream I'm eating
wood chips & sleeping in a pile of expired pear cans, but when the doctor
asks, I tell her I dreamt I was a forest with trees burning from the inside out,
molten lava in the rings. I say that a foghorn blew smoke while I shimmered
like water on a hot day. I say the vultures landed in my hair & whispered words
that ran out my nose. Later, I tell the nurse I am prone to headaches
& she looks at the length of my fingers & nods. "With those hands
you're bound to be." At parties, I say I like the color blue & I'm asked
if my mother breastfed me. I lie & say yes & I'm told: "Well, that explains it."
I say I dislike shopping & I'm asked: "Were you born in the autumn months?"
At work, they give us an assessment, which says I am a humid baby, best
kept in heat. They put my desk in a corner where the A/C never blows
& I suck ice cubes & fantasize about meat freezers. I say I'm bad
at spelling & my boss replies: "That can't be true since you don't eat beef."
A man on the corner asks my shoe size, to check if we might fall in love.
I'm crying in an elevator & a woman says: "It's the low pressure system, honey."
But I'm no fool. I carry an umbrella & never check the forecast.
Sirianna Helleloid is a production accountant by day & by night is mostly asleep; somewhere between the two she writes. She's had poems in Kettle Blue Review & Catapult. Her manuscript &maybe was recently a finalist for the 2023 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize. You can find her on Twitter at @elelelelloyd.