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When you left, I traded my tears for a seed.

“Eat this and feel pain no longer,” the witch said.

I swallowed it whole and a hedge burst from my breast, brambles grown thorny around my heart.

The curious come from far-flung kingdoms and pay a silver coin to see, but never touch. In the springtime, I grow berries, red and fat. They drop from my branches like dew.

Writer from Western New York, now based near St. Louis. Published in Ploughshares, Fairy Tale Review, [PANK]. Kundiman fellow, MFA graduate.