Echolalia by Amy Woolard

[Dorothy, Wicked Witch of the East]

This is the scene where I’m supposed to want to go home.
Sometimes your voice is like getting stitches & sometimes it’s like getting stitches removed.

The distance between my lungs & my house is the difference between yellow & gold.
What we see in black & white is authentic; what we see in color is true.

Storm keeps coming the way Aunt kneads together dough scraps until the last biscuit is cut.
When the heart is a glass souvenir from a landscape you once road-tripped.

The barn is raised & the barn is razed—a natural disaster, is the story I’m told.
When the heart is a snow-globe of the Dust Bowl, shaken.

Aunt says: swallow an orange seed & a tree will sprout in your stomach.
Eat to its core an apple a day & still in the end worms will wend into your lungs.

I stash all my love for you in my shins, is why I wear knee socks.
Even the mosquitos make a beeline for your ankles straight away.

What do you call a girl who doesn’t come when she’s called?
A first love is just an animal who either waits too long or doesn’t wait long enough.

Do you know what it’s taken for me to even miss you at all?
People who seem to just fall off the earth of your face.

Poppies like a field of cigarette burns.
When your friends are flammable, you quit smoking.

Amy Woolard is a writer and public policy attorney working on foster care, juvenile justice, poverty, and homelessness issues in Virginia. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the University of Virginia School of Law. Her poems have appeared/are forthcoming in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, Court Green, Fence, Indiana Review, and Best New Poets 2013 and 2015, among others, while her essays have run on Slate, Pacific Standard, The Rumpus, Indiewire, and elsewhere. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.