Konch Magazine - “Sweeter Now” by Aya Kusch
Sweeter Now

Neighboring my childhood home there’s a bramble of blackberries,
(Even nurtured they would grow in a barbed-wire tangle, And even forgotten they would still become sweet in the summer.)
in the household there’s a picture of my father, in his twenties and on a mountain facing the wind with a knife between his teeth.
And deer stalk us nightly, or maybe they are just the silhouettes
Of my mother, tall and slender with eyes that are also always in wonder
Of every small piece of an unexpected existence.
I tried to run away twice (for no reason other than that I wanted to be daring),
Slept on the roof three times, fell from it once
and now have two parallel scars on my left kneecap.
I identified more with the blackberries than anything in that house
I could have been one of those blackberries, a tamed seed growing wild, finding its way.
(you can’t create sweetness in wild things, no matter how hard you try)
I could have been a blackberry, growing bold,
watching these woods grow smaller as I traveled upwards,  the household becoming a more and more foreign neighbor.
A blackberry trying to find its own sweetness, even as it becomes tangled up with others
A blackberry that was buried in these woods for so long,
Remembering the mountain in the picture, the silhouettes, the deer,
Her eyes (unlike mine, in that I see everything coming)
I could have been a blackberry,
still tangled in its roots, but ever more wild,  ever more far away.