4by4 

by Nazani Cassidy

do you ever dig a hole in your garden,

and wish for it to swallow you.

first your fingertips,

your knuckles.

the dirt wraps around your

hand. warm, you think.

as the red grape tomatoes start weaving around

your kneeling knees.

the watch that grandfather gave you,

was suddenly embraced into

the red clay the mother made.

that invasive species of fennel that keeps erupting,

follows you now into the whole.

suddenly it smells of black licorice,

and you wonder what happened to the earthworms.

the rocks clicked against your arm,

pulling you

closer and closer to the reason why

you needed the earth to hug.

you think of why your whole life you’ve loved tight spaces,

as the earth tipped you

upside down into it.

you’ve always loved mint,

and I think it heard you, because it twisted around your ears

like suddenly the mother listened.

sometimes when you were little,

you would sit in your closet and wait for someone to find you,

but today the eggplants did.

Earth opened its mouth wider,

and you didn’t hesitate to crawl inside, as the garden snail

distracted you with its lovely face.

the red lettuce didn’t budge.

now that your ankles passed the opening,

a wave of calm rushes you,

first with the head, and then calm finds all of you.

you look at the rainbow chard.

know and accept sunlight’s goodbye.

as if the mother needed to blink,

earth's eye closed.

you watched back below as it’s eyelashes wove back together again.

suddenly black licorice felt like light,

and you had to accept the darkness that had just

chewed you up.

you raised your hand to the dirt sky, and you felt

the triangle tips above.

you look the mother face to face,

and realize,

you have enough carrots to last you a lifetime.

about the writer:

I have yet to be published by any literary magazine, as I am a high school student, but I’m looking to widen the range that my work reaches. I hope that my unique view of the world through Generation Z’s lense can bring a new perspective to the journal. This piece was inspired by the idea that humanity itself was created from the inside of the Earth’s core. The next work entitled