morgan ridgway

"RUNOFF IS THE SOUND OF CLOSURE"

On Saturdays I turn green like my mother,
take my plants to the sink and soak

their roots. I wait for the water to drain
from the little holes, alone in the silence,

save for the quiet drip and my wilted
yearning. I am rehearsing the lesson

of my childhood—how to love from afar.
The ponytail palm holds my bitter,

lifting it to taste the new daylight
and momentarily I believe it is gone

but stars cannot bury sorrow only change
its shape and in these moments

I am too full of resentment to make room
for grief, I am a glutton for anything

other than closure, but isn’t there a use
for everything? I use a cloth to gather

the weight of the week, lukewarm and gentle.
My regret is coming off with the dust,

washing away with the runoff and I say
I am relearning the lesson of gratitude.

My green fingers plant my mother in the dirt
of the philodendron climbing the window.

In those moments I grow yellow,
budding with grace, hoping to arrive

at something that sounds like love.

Morgan Ridgway is a queer Black/Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape writer, dancer, and historian from Philadelphia, PA. They are currently completing a PhD in history thinking about gathering, care, and joy. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Querencia, Horse Egg Literary, and CP Quarterly, among others. They tweet @morgan_ridgway.