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Mara Erdman

Making Daisy Chains

  1. Become a bartender

  2. Name a cocktail after a childhood memory

  3. Choose a memory in which you thought you’d grow up to be something different

  4. Better yet, pick one in which you weren’t thinking about growing up at all

  5. Remember sitting in your front yard with nothing to do but pick dandelions

  6. Tie the head of one dandelion to the stem of the next

  7. Go on and on and on until you’ve made yourself a crown of weeds

  8. Know that you can make beautiful things out of whatever grows beneath you

  9. Mix two parts prosecco with one part St. Germain

  10. Top with house hibiscus shrub for color

  11. Garnish with an edible flower

  12.  Wonder if it’s sad or beautiful that after all these years, you still spend your days making daisy chains.

Ode to the Service Industry

(maybe the customer has never been, right?)

the woman who looked like she could be my friend

told me I was a bitch

(because the price of our kids' chicken tenders was too high)

Two sweet teas quivered between us

as I gave one more apology,

(not mine to give)

i hope she really hated something about my face,

about my nervous freckles,

about the silent wad of fuck-yous

crammed into my back pocket

like straw wrappers.

I hope that your chicken-tender-eating son, ma’am,

never learns to speak to women

the way you just spoke to me.


Becoming Silt


the summer i was your counselor

at that all-girls camp

we did a foot washing at the lake

to show you what Jesus did for his disciples.

your toenails were caked with mud

and i knelt in algae.

candlewax dripped in the sand,

everything rotting and melting

in a good way, becoming silt,

becoming real.

and i stopped believing

in the god they taught us about

when i kissed the bottom of your foot

and realized that there was no brimstone

or pearly gate

only foot skin against lip skin

only what happened between us women

when we stopped hiding our dirty toes

when we stopped hiding from each other

and melted,

becoming silt


About Mara Erdman

Mara Erdman is an Asheville, NC native and current MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte. 

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