Epiphyte or Air-Plants
Her parents always told her that she doesn’t root in soil. She swims in the air, without proper roots. She’s detached, dismembered. She never reveals herself, folds out plainly like her brother: a simple origami crane made of ordinary paper. She sucks in a different air, filling her lungs with something alien, many-tongued. Sharp spine, no leaves. She finds it easy to keep boys off of her, just like spilling milk. They want her to grow on them, to attach to a host, to be their parasite and nourishment. They want to eat her fruit. She grows alone, living off of nothing and no one. Slowly, her parents give way. They nod at each other like enemies, too tired to re-draw the battle lines, wary of her thorns.
Omer Friedlander was born in Jerusalem. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Vestal Review, The Molotov Cocktail, The Bastille, Litro Online, The Airgonaut, Notes, Eyot, Ekphrastic Review, and others. He is currently studying English Literature at the University of Cambridge.