When I was a girl I’d sit in the
branches of my kin’s tiny
apple tree and watch cars go by,
a perching gargoyle. When it
rained, I spouted water and the
neighbor children played with me.
As a youth, my wings grew full, and
all the boys craved them. They
circled me like hunting dogs, relentless.
I tore their yellow teeth from their
gums and hung them around my
neck on a leather cord.
When I matured, my lover
ripped out my wings and beat my
rock armor until I cracked. I
stayed because no one else
said they could love a stone figure.
As I aged I stayed away from men.
My apples rotted and my domain
was a clock tower, where I sneered at
people walking by. On this masonry
wall my skin weathered. I spit
no water. I rusted.
Justina Oland is a student at the University of Oregon studying for a Japanese language major and creative writing minor. In the fall, she will study abroad at Japan Women’s University. Justina wants to tackle North America’s sexism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia through her words and actions. This will be her first publication.