Earthworm

Roshan Moazed

Words used to flow out of my fingers like a river bleeding into the ocean, pushing molecules into an abyss of indigo, you can’t see them but they’re there, sliding one way and then the other, there’s something quiet about physics in the background, like soft music in an elevator raising you one floor higher, like a journal kept under a mattress, flattened by dreams and full of them. I was at home there, feeling gravity bend my spine like the heavier bough of a tree, my fingers drawing letters through midnight, when my family was asleep, when my lamp cast a shadow onto paper, a sun dripping light through horizons, falling, the Earth absorbing photons quickly at the golden hour, releasing them to the retina and bodies of daughters walking, along the border of the sky, toes dipped into the mesosphere and deeper. I wanted to leave but I couldn’t, there’s something about the star that dies to sow the universe, stellar evolution planting particles like flower bulbs, baby fingers gingerly fishing earthworms from the garden, moving them inches over, making room for tulips, the pink ones were mine and the red my mother’s, we watched them glitter as the last jewel of sunlight hit them, before plunging beneath the planet, leaving us in an abyss of indigo, full of my words that used to flow, they betrayed me, my mother told me this, it’s easier to be mad at someone who speaks. I was mesmerized by how the world disappeared when there was no light to return, how inside my closet with the door shut it was black, plastic planets stuck to the walls like ghosts, glowing pale green there was a solar system inside my bedroom, on the second floor with the door shut, sadness was quiet inside a vacuum and at midnight, threading dreams through mattress fibers, storing them on paper that felt like a secret, mine, ushering earthworms from one life and then the other, keeping a garden that had her flowers and my own, an abyss like a sapphire, twinkling on her wedding ring, a tulip sowed by the universe. In the evening I brimmed with syllables, making my limbs swollen, sunsets squeezed stars like an orange, dripping juice on a horizon, the world was golden for a moment inside trillions, I begged for the exodus of light, where all I could see were plastic planets on my ceiling, where all I had was a family sleeping, where all I said was quiet against the flight of the sun.

About the Author

Roshan Zoe Moazed graduated from Brown University in 2017 with a degree in Creative Writing, and now lives in Somerville, MA while pursuing a second Bachelor's degree in Mathematics at UMass Boston. While she isn't in class learning about the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, you can find her working at a coffee shop she considers her second home, roasting Japanese sweet potatoes, and watching the sunset.