Chosen

Leave a comment

October 2, 2017 by The Citron Review

by Jennifer Battisti

 

Outside, the rain against the playground is heavy and decisive. Small rivers are forming in the basin of the water fountain. We will not line up today. The blacktop, slick with afternoon showers, tells us we will stay in our blue plastic chairs.

The monkey bars that stain our palms with the scent of sour pennies now house small globes of water, pendulous magic, before dropping them into the sand below and releasing the smell of fresh earth. The red dodge balls stay huddled in their net, stacked in the closet with the crisp brown and green paper that makes trees grow in the corners of the classroom, felt birds glued to the leaves. The tip of my young thumb throbs in that third-grade way, while my face burrows into the flesh of the inside of my arm, until blackness blots out the primary colors and textures.

Rain makes choices.

Our small village of arithmetic and careful cursive is set aside for Heads Up, Seven Up, a game for rare days when water is attentive—every rock, stem, branch equally smothered. I feel awkward doing the exact thing my classmates are doing, as if I am not made of bones and fears or that the order of mine, so bright, cannot know anyone else’s.

My eager thumb waits, for recognition—to be chosen in a sea of other thumbs. My greedy thirst for affirmation is a large hole in a small bowl. And if the quick heat flashes against the craving curve of my opposable pieces, I will feel solid in my body—here for a moment, clenched by the metal arm holding my desk, its hollow belly echoing back my existence. I will curl my thumb into the clasp of my pointer and ring fingers in celebration. I will hide my smile in the stacked and coiled seams of my arms.

At some point, wanting becomes too turbulent a force and I learn to hustle the game. If I position my eye to see without being seen, I can catch a glimpse of a sneaker or Mary Jane, and place the shoe with the student. Belonging will secure me to what seems contained and right. Cheating this rain game is the requirement for approval—the being chosen inhibits my own choosing altogether. If I win, I’ll be one of the seven to stand at the front and be a chooser, but this will leave me stranded, like lightning with no rod. The choosing will not be as satisfying as being chosen.

Not until much later, near the center of my life, after the drought I’ve placed on myself turns to a deluge of worthiness capable enough to spilt the molecule of necessity, will thirst go much like it came—demanding and definite.

 

Jennifer Battisti, a Las Vegas native, studied creative writing at the College of Southern Nevada. Her poetry has been published in the anthology Legs of Tumbleweed, Wings of Lace, as well as 300 Days of Sun, the Red Rock Review, the Desert Companion, Minerva Rising, and elsewhere. In 2016, KNPR interviewed her about her poetry. Her forthcoming chapbook, Echo Bay, will be available in 2018. She is the secretary and workshop facilitator for the Las Vegas Poets Organization.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Mushrooms

🍋10th Anniversary

Fall 2019 IssueSeptember 23rd, 2019
Cheers to 10 great years!

🍋 Instagram

Fiction Editor JR Walsh luxuriates in micros shaken and most definitely stirred. https://citronreview.com/2019/09/23/notes-on-the-micro-fiction-selections/ #amreading #microfiction
Grab a two foot scrap of wood and step up to home plate with Ronald Hartley in "Batting Stones." https://citronreview.com/2019/09/23/batting-stones/ Hartley's stories have been published by Sky Island Journal, Literary Juice, After the Pause, Gravel Magazine and Mobius: The Journal for Social Change. #amreading #flashfiction
We're reading for our Winter Issue, but a deadline is coming soon. Please consider submitting your best poetry, flash, and micros before December 1. Our editors will continue reading creative nonfiction through the new year, but we'd love to see your excellent work even sooner. https://citronreview.com/submission/ #TheCitronReview #onlinejournal #briefliterature #celebratingtheshortform #cheersto10years #Citron10 #callforsubmissions #poetry #cnf #fiction
Marissa Hoffman's creative nonfiction covers the directions that a life may take in "A Route Plan From Dad to Dad." https://citronreview.com/2019/09/23/a-route-plan-from-dad-to-dad/ #amreading #flashcnf Marissa Hoffman has published FlashBack Fiction, Bending Genres, and The Drabble. She is a fiction reader for Atticus Review.
Managing Editor Eric Steineger illuminates ten years of Citron Poetry. https://citronreview.com/2019/09/23/notes-on-the-poetry-selections-12/
When raising children is like "Fighting with God," Jennifer Woodworth dives into each poetic moment. https://citronreview.com/2019/09/23/fighting-with-god/ Jennifer Woodworth is the author of the chapbook, How I Kiss Her Turning Head (Monkey Puzzle Press.) Her writing has appeared in Bending Genres Journal, The Eastern Iowa Review, Star 82 Review, among others. Her blog is fishclamor.com. #amreading #poetry

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: