Melissa Ho

Orange Acid and Other Admissions of Guilt

Claire Anna Baker "Flash" (Detail)

Claire Anna Baker "Flash" (Detail)


something i like.

the peppermint edges of your cheekbones, wedged like

silver coins. the ribbed hem of my dress. tongue

bitten by three wasps.



something i can taste.

summer smells like 6:24 a.m., dandelion breath

and cacti-pricked toes. i miss the black carbon

dust and the empty medicine cabinet. sidewalks

are not built of marble.



something i am.

spine (n.): a series of vertebrae extending from the

skull to the small of the back. soft-soled shoes grazing

the curve of my ankle. buy one and a poor kid gets a pair.

irises that change color according to the amount of blood

you’ve given away. eleven different kinds of envelopes

filled with words i couldn’t say to you.



i am not a poem and neither is this. after dusk, i am

still counting the number of seeds left over in your

marrow. sixteen years and i have only known how to

admit to one thing: flight. nights are cold and the red

on the sink is temporary and veins are the atlases i

could not draw.



i want to peel off my skin and find alaska underneath.



Melissa Ho is a sixteen-year-old from Ellicott City, Maryland. She has been recognized by Scholastic, various universities/colleges, and more. In her spare time, she reads, spins flags, and decorates coffee cups.