Paige Leland

At seven my uncle told me
that swallowing the seed
of a watermelon
would be the fastest way to
to get noticed, just three extra and I
might take more space.
Maybe one will root within me,
maybe push the seams of my belly,
maybe explode pink on my bed sheets.

But when the doctor calls to say
nothing will ever grow from the emptiness
inside me,
I worry less of being uncontainable
and more of losing you in pieces,
of losing you whole,
of losing you the way I lose my turn
at four way stops.

I cannot stop thinking
about fruit and my body. On Thursday
a strawberry seed sticks itself
in the space of my inner ear.
I worry at first
but when the hammer drops
and you tell me you’re leaving,
I pretend
I can’t hear you.


Paige LelandPaige Leland recently graduated with her BFA in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Her work has appeared previously in Chicago Literati, Running Out of Ink, Colleague’s Magazine, and is forthcoming from Polaris Literary Magazine, The 3288 Review, The Quaker, Fishladder, and The Tahoma Literary Review. She likes to write about childhood, the effect of place, and the beauty of our bodies. She plans to pursue her MFA in Creative Non-Fiction.