Here, Gratified

Dina Folgia

If I could, I would live in a crack
in the sidewalk. A wildflowered one
filled with the mossy creatures of
the town, roly-polies and worms
and translucent cellar spiders.
No walking directions needed,
just a single moment spent
half in ground and half in sun,
emerging womb to hands exactly
where I am needed. I’d plant myself
dandelion-like between cobblestones
in front of my favorite shop, my childhood
home, my grandmother’s lofty granite grave.
I’d spring fully formed and facing the sky.
My legs won’t be specters. They won’t hop
out from under me. My toes won’t vanish,
lost in my shoes one hundred feet from
my door like lovers from a groaning
twin bed, seeking secrecy or something
less tangled. The closer I am to my life’s
places the less likely I am to forget myself
at home, limbs falling away piecemeal,
larvae flung from the hive when my father
comes in with fumes and a bat. I’d hardly
leave my earth, hardly stray from the dried
summer-warmth of concrete except to hug
my mother, pick red clover, see a movie
once or twice a year. I’d be left solitary
and whole, held and dark. I won’t
count my steps again.

Dina Folgia is an MFA candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University. She was an honorable mention for the 2021 Penrose Poetry Prize, and a 2020 AWP Intro Journals Project nominee. Her work appears (or will be appearing) in Ninth Letter, Dunes Review, Stonecoast Review, Defunkt Magazine, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, and others. She is a poetry editor for Storm Cellar. Keep up with her work at

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