First Argument

Journal 58:3 (2019)
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First Argument

Author Darlene Young

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An ache like a seed

caught in teeth, acrid after-

taste of unripe fruit;

astonishment. That

is not what I meant. Sudden

drop of a gaze, new

heaviness. Where are

you going? Strange entrapment

within skin, like the tree-

gum that had to be

cut from Eve’s hair. I

just didn’t hear you.

The twitch of a brow.

She remembers the bitterness

of a beetle crunched

accidentally, hidden in the spinach;

she remembers

the first rasp of ivy rash on the wrist.

Look at me

when I’m talking. Heart pounding

in her ears. A shoulder

shrugs away from a hand. Skin

is not just for pleasure; it

can chafe. She is learning

what a weed is,

and what it does.

—Darlene Young

This poem won second place in the 2018 Clinton F. Larson Poetry Contest sponsored by BYU Studies.