How to Surrender When You’re a Lava Flow

by Elaina Mercatoris

You became rock when you stopped moving.
You thought when you were done, This must be

how God felt the third day; but it wasn’t a flesh,
I-just-created-earth feeling. You couldn’t forget

how you slid over the ground in bubbling rivers,
ordering everything before you to lie down and beg.

Often now your mouth feels like the dirt stuck
in the bottom of a clay pot. If only you could open

your mouth, the sky could feed you fire. It would feel
as though you were being stabbed by small needles.

You miss life inside the volcano. You remember
too often how it felt to burn under the surface

before God shot you out and waited for you to harden.

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About Elaina Mercatoris

Elaina Mercatoris grew up in rural Pennyslvania and studied literature at Allegheny College. She is currently an M.F.A. candidate at the University of Florida, where she also teaches undergraduate writing courses. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Avatar Review and Natural Bridge.

Elaina Mercatoris

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