Melissa Teja

United States of America

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Published Work

Quicksilver

Quicksilver
    I lazily woke up from my daytime stupor as the last rays of dusk slowly caressed the other moths awake. It was my first day out since my Hatching and I was eager to get out of the tree that housed the rest of my family. 
    “Watch out for the frogs, Quicksilver!” my “moth”er called. I waved at her. I shook my wings and launched myself off the branch into the cool, moist darkness. 
    I quickly lost my bearings as I swooped across the sky, feeling like Icarus, flying close to the stars and creek bed. I fluttered downwards, passing the “moth”of a cave.  As I went for another swoop in towards the creek, a small, strong figure slammed into my body and nearly pushed me out of the sky. As I struggled to regain my balance, I noticed my attacker had a strangely compelling flickery light. On him? Near him? I couldn’t...

Myrtus communis (Myrtle)

Shall I compare thee to a flower?
Dusting your follies in a pollen shower?
Evergreen limbs stretch vibrantly,
Out of the hot, weathered hell slowly. 
Common flowers sacred to love
Cursed to never fly on the arm of a dove.
Growth destined to mark the grave,
Of the closest dreams we ever have.
White petaled stars reaching
For a foothold in breaching
The painted golden spotlight
Of power and futures bright.
Above the valley, upon the mountain,
Where wealth flows in an unending fountain.
It’s easy to forget the common plants
When the shy growth of greed grants
Suffering on the wrong side of circumstance;
The rich ready to squash the flowers like ants.

Bellis perennis (Daisy)

Lustrous drops of liquid gold,
Drip together inside the delicate fold.
Splaying outward in an innocent display,
Delicate petals dancing in a glorying array.
The most sought after, 
In the ashen field of dying laughter.
“The king's daughter, the golden girl,”
Showing the world beauty in a white dressed whirl.
Year after year, a budding belle,
Ball gowned illusion covering a fragile shell.
Hiding in your perfect makeup survival,
Relying on another to take the fall
While you prepare to watch him jump.
But tell me, did you ever hear the thump?

Sour

    Alone, a stranger sat on the steps of an abandoned apartment building on the upper side of Manhattan, smiling at the birds flying above the treetops, watching them disappear behind the  buildings rising out of the cold concrete ground. Leaves fell around her, showering the earth with their colorful appendages, while subtly telling people to go coat shopping before the winter arrived. 
     Lost. The word seemed to permanently describe someone like her; always missing something. The something weighed on her mind, like a bruise she couldn’t remember getting. She shrugged the feeling away and walked the few blocks between her and Central Park, the sun kissing her shoulders as it continued to set behind buildings tall enough to scrape the sky.
    She walked along the paved trail, as if something heavy weighed on her shoulders. The weight of the world, or at least the weight of the feelings in it. Her long trench coat fell off her shoulders only the...

Scissors

Slowly, smiles are cut away,
Leaving raised lines on faces
Too young to bear 
Their 
          sinking 
                         weight.
Shining jewels, bright eyes
That had filled the spaces
        Between the stars
Are hacked out of the fabric; 
Torn out of existence.
Leaving only 
        Slashed shadows,
        Damaged remnants
Of times too painful 
            To remember.
Lies stab in and out 
Leaving black ink trails.
                    Bloody lines 
Across paper hearts.
You cut through life,
A pair of scissors,
In a rolling wave
            Gentle, forgiving
Until you retreat
Dangerously
Pulling everything with you
           Unrelenting, unforgiving
Wetting the wounds you make
With the salt you weep
And the ice in your soul.