Cleaning Up

I leave a trail behind me, 

socks curling into themselves like snails,

bits of paper furled like dying leaves.

Everything is mossed with dust. 

My hair falls and catches, 

silver webs snagged by corners, 

pieces of me bedded on the carpet, 

the padded rug simulating earth’s softness.

I want to be kneeling, wrist deep 

in something pungent, 

roots ringing my fingers,

dirt crusting my hands.

I’ll let the earth carry parts 

of me away. Give my eyelashes 

to the slugs blinking coyly

as they nibble the marigolds,

my mouth to the mushrooms, 

those apples of the earth

blooming from subterranean networks,

my nose to the sweet grasses

braided by wind,

my fingers slipping under

a fuzz of fungus, a furred 

blanket reclaiming life to life.

ESTHER SADOFF is a teacher and writer from Columbus, Ohio. Her poems have been featured or are forthcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Drunk Monkeys, Wingless Dreamer, Free State Review, Parhelion Literary Magazine, Passengers Journal, SWWIM, and many other publications.