It took a while to remember,

in fact it wasn’t until today that it came back

with a flash like heat lightening in an August sky, 

that day when I was twelve, and other girls were

women already, smug in their menses and messes,

and I was slow, and they called me slow,

still a girl with baby teeth and the fabric

of my blouse smooth and undisturbed,

but i had a fountain pen with peacock blue ink

in slender cartridges that were slipped into the barrel

and screwed down tight, and on this remembered day,

after i loaded my mouth as well as my pen,

sliding one cartridge between my teeth to chew,

preferring the cool, pliant plastic

to the splintered shaft of pencils,

the cartridge burst, and peacock blue ran

from the corners of my mouth and dribbled down my chin 

in a shocking flow, and though tongue-dyed,

fully-fledged words spilled out, and i spoke ink.


© dana hughes 4.24.14