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"half of me is ocean. half of me is sky."

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she / her || community ambassador alumni

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The Thing About Dandelions

June 8, 2020

We tumbled into the world with strawberry hair and indigo eyes. 
    The tips of our skulls sprouted roses, deeper and redder than the crimson streaks that trickled through Máma’s fingertips.
“No,” she gasped when she first peered down at our baby-fat ringed limbs, our saltwater veins and identical smiles. “No, these are not my children.” 
Baba placed a wary hand on her shoulder and sighed, face twisted in confusion as he winced. “What should we do?”
Máma turned away from us, tears slipping down the nape of her neck. “The Dvořák’s will only talk, only stare. Rumor ‘ill spread, you know it. So we can’t keep ‘em, we can’t.” She paused, scooping us up as water continued to stream down her cheeks. “They’re cursed, the four of ‘em. We can’t let ‘em curse us too.”
Baba nodded and shook his head: yes ma’am, yes ma’am. Together they walked us toward the door that day, the day that we tumbled into the world with heads of strawberry and eyes of indigo. Together, they left us.
And so we were forced to bloom out of rocky terrain and slip our petals through stone. 
We tended to our fluorescence like a carefully-watched fire, sprinkling embers on our skin in a society that threatened to douse us with water.
Every morning a new child would drift to the door-step of the crowded home we lived in, sucking its plump thumbs as if they were coated in honey. Every morning another orphan would swarm our broken beehive, its faded nectar a whisper of solemn faces and forgotten children.
But despite it all, we fluttered through the floorboards and plastered smiles to our faces. When the others approached us, arms thrown across their chests, smirking -- why are you all the same? -- we’d nod in return and answer. 
“We’re sisters.” Our voices would fill the chiseled halls, echoing across brick. “Born of the same moon.”
Though they laughed, scoffing as they scurried past us, we continued on, waiting for day to bleed into night so that we could tiptoe to the roof. As the world slept and children shimmied beneath their sheets, resting atop of straw mattresses, we would sit criss-cross and stare at the stars. 
The sky had a way of silencing the foggy events of the day. It buried the way Kamila had slapped the feathery white dandelions out of our hands hours before. We had been sitting in the corn-field blowing them, bored of the ever-moving chatter that circulated the house. Don’t you know that’s how they spread their seeds? That’s the thing about dandelions, don’t you know? 
No, we quivered our heads back and forth, no.
But as we squinted at the stars, lathered in moonlight, we were no longer the outcasts, the cursed children that Máma and Baba left, we were no longer watering our wilted stems and fighting over runny cups of carrot soup. Instead, we were the four fiery girls with tendrils of ruby sewn to our skulls and rippling waves hidden behind our eyes. 
We were dandelions. 
We were blossoming quickly and shooting up through pebbled soil, spreading our seeds and soaring through the wind. Though some saw us as weeds, something different and unusual that needed to be stamped back into the earth, we were vibrant and bright, showering our light through continents, through cities.
That, we thought, chattering as we sat atop the peeling roof, is the thing about dandelions. They’re quite similar to stars, actually, for they are inside of us all.



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  • June 8, 2020 - 8:34am (Now Viewing)

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  • black_and_red_ink

    This is such a beautiful way to use the metaphor of dandelions. Great job and great use of the collective voice.

    4 months ago
  • happy butterfly

    Woah this is extremely beautiful. You are such an amazing writer.

    4 months ago
  • outoftheblue

    I have no words for how gorgeous this is. I love your style of prose.

    4 months ago