You and I and Grasshoppers


It’s humid in this field surrounded by miles

of nothing but you and I and grasshoppers. The hot wetness

sticks under my armpits and on the dip of my back.


I would prefer your hand

on the dip of my back.


There are no-see-ums in my brain

and under my eyes and when I cry

they get so fat on the salt, a testament

to how much I love you, or maybe

to my fucked mental health.


Either way, their girth hurts.


I lay pressed daisies in your palm

that only opens when I tug on your fingers

and you hold them in the same way a kind mother

holds a frog her son proudly brought in the house

which is to say you don’t—you let them rest

in your hand as a way of placating me until I leave.


When I’m alone, I crouch in the field

with the grasshoppers and pray

for a taste of their mastery of leaping

effortlessly away from what causes them pain.

EMILY is currently an undergraduate senior at Saint Leo University in St. Leo, Florida, where she is studying English with a specialization in creative writing. Her work has been published in The Dandelion Review, Sandhill Review‘s 2017, 2018, and 2019 issues, and is forthcoming in The Dollhouse. When not writing she can be found cuddling with her five cats and/or devouring frozen pizza.