Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

— Virginia Woolf

Conversion Therapy

by Tyler Gillespie

Took the prophet’s word as law.    He  spoke  light

& walked with swagger   (sure you know  the type).

 

I filled up seven mason jars with ground:

  my garden roots.   Placed them on window sill

in my room. Each day that week, I ate these jars –

 

the glass it made me bleed   with sun   & bugs.

 I  set my jaw a strong pillar of stone

   to ease the pain. He said the seventh day

 

 would bring plenty green sprouts from my fresh throat.

  (May sound a drastic measure, but no    plants

had bloomed for years.   My plot dried up & died.)

 

  The final day, he napped.  I bent to drink

 from kitchen sink:  clear water was supposed

to bring new life. He woke & asked my name.

 

Strange throat: a scorched field. Nothing clean expect

  his eyes.  I tried to speak:    only weeds grew.

 

 

 

TYLER GILLESPIE’s writing has recently appeared in The New Yorker, Brevity, The Rumpus, PANK, Los Angeles Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Deep South, and Hobart, among other places. He’s the author of the chapbook Dirty Socks and Pine Needles (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2012) and currently lives near the bayou in New Orleans.

 

The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.

—Cervantes, Don Quixote

© 2016 The Indianola Review

 

 

Took the prophet’s word as law.    He  spoke  light

& walked with swagger   (sure you know  the type).

 

I filled up seven mason jars with ground:

  my garden roots.   Placed them on window sill

in my room. Each day that week, I ate these jars–

 

the glass it made me bleed   with sun   & bugs.

 I  set my jaw a strong pillar of stone

   to ease the pain. He said the seventh day

 

 would bring plenty green sprouts from my fresh

throat.

  (May sound a drastic measure, but no    plants

had bloomed for years.   My plot dried up & died.)

 

  The final day, he napped.  I bent to drink

 from kitchen sink:  clear water was supposed

to bring new life. He woke & asked my name.

 

Strange throat: a scorched field. Nothing clean

expect

  his eyes.  I tried to speak:    only weeds grew.