Tara A. Elliott


Yes, I burrowed fingernails
into flesh, broke fruit from membrane,
burst sweet blisters against
my young tongue—
I swallowed your promises,
drank your seed.

Trapped here in the underbelly, I count
each hardened grain & reign
in perfect destruction.

But husband, even you will not
rule me forever.

I swear, one day I will claw
through these roots;
             this black soil.

The days expand.

So, let the moss begin its greening.
Let the trees gather flesh.
In your shadow,
I begin.

Tara A. Elliott

has contributed to Cimarron Review, 32 Poems, Ninth Letter, and other journals. An award-winning educator, she also serves as executive director of the Eastern Shore Writers Association and chair of the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference. A student of Lucille Clifton, she is a recent winner of the Maryland Arts Council’s independent artist award for literature.