My daughter paints her body red and green and every color of the two, and paints the pool, the naked baby, Buzz, the door where handprints mud the screen. Leave them there, I say. Keep going. I want her rage, the furious wave of crayons rubbed on sidewalk paper, no’s to cards for grandma, or a yes, her first red heart so crooked on the page. Beautiful, I say. Keep going. There is more magic in us than we know, and more to give away. I want her wants, her hearts, for every sheet to be a waste; for her to be the things she makes—or doesn’t make. For her to be, for her. Time to clean up, I say. Keep going.
Kelly Ann Jacobson is the author or editor of many published books, and her chapbook An Inventory of Abandoned Things just won the Split/Lip Chapbook Contest. She also writes young adult speculative novels under her pen name, Annabelle Jay. Kelly is a PhD candidate in fiction at Florida State University and teaches speculative fiction for Southern New Hampshire University’s online MFA in creative writing. Her poetry has been published in Glitterwolf, District Lines, Poetry Pacific, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and elsewhere. More information about Kelly can be found at www.kellyannjacobson.com or www.annabellejay.com.