Second Child

You might be seven
But more

Important are the liquid moments
Of heaven
That drip all over you

The heavy air
Your wet feet, kicking up
Sweet grass

Your cocoa hair
Braids knotted and
Tangled with twigs

And your dresses,
Little, and proud, hung
In purples and pinks
Our yard filled with
Tender stink

We can walk to the river
And shoot arrows into sand
but more aching
are the demands
of fair peach and open clove,
whimpering dove and sturdy toad.

A chorus of open waters
that pool and beg

and the shiny stars above your head:
conspiracies, they want you
Want you deep and floating
in the stink bay coils under
California bridge,
throating the waves and
submitting to the currents.
Your long, rodent hair,
curled and salted,
will entrap the fish
vein-thin arms
will seem softly alarmed
and, politely,

you’ll sink.

Want you lofted and swimming
in the ghost fields of urban Jupiter.
Through the blues
and grays
of atmosphere stretched
and powdered,

you’ll rise.

Want you buried
in the back-branched fields
of rusty Kentucky.
You’ll sleep in the red
under heavy piles of
Grandfather dirt


with the scent of
the animals you loved.
And when you reach rock
and meet your thoughts,

you’ll sigh.

Want you heated
in the demon wing tips
of a foreign flame—the embers
light eyes that

Torched into gray,
you’ll watch your gods
bellow and play
as they did when
they were
your age.

And at the end of things,
as you curl into yourself and
measure your dreams
in inches of gold
you’ll fly.

Virginia Petrucci


Virginia Petrucci is a writer and artist in Los Angeles, CA and a former columnist for the LA Post-Examiner She has been published in Avalon Literary Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Mom Egg Review, Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal, Dirty Chai,, and Best New Writing 2014 as a runner up for the Gover Prize in flash fiction (among others). She has a piece forthcoming in Flash Fiction Magazine, as well as chapbook through Red Flag Poetry (Nov. 2017).

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