Michelle Rochniak :: “One More Time”

after Jericho Brown

When a plant escapes
her pot and traverses
around the house,
cutting her limbs
becomes inevitable.
I will have to approach
her with my shears
and snip healthy leaves
and watch them fall
and land like hair on the floor.
I will go to my room, find
the link in my Notes app,
and fill out a form saying
I cried again today.
And when I am done,
I will take the leaves
outside and compost them.
Because that’s what
good people do.
But what if I trim off too much,
and she doesn’t know how
to grow again?
Why did Orpheus turn
when he knew looking
would kill Eurydice?


Michelle Rochniak (she/they) is a mythology-obsessed poet from Connecticut (USA). She is a professional writing major and women’s studies minor at Western Connecticut State University. They also were a 2022 CT Collegiate Poet with the Connecticut Poetry Circuit. She is a two-time recipient of the Patrick Ryan Scholarship for Literary Citizenship and received the John Briggs Award for Editorial Excellence for her work this past year as editor of WCSU’s Black & White. They currently co-edit Perspective, which is the literary and art magazine for WCSU’s Kathwari Honors Program. When she isn’t writing, she likes to read about ancient history, play the ukulele, and crochet. Find more of their poems at Fifth Wheel Press, Violet Indigo Blue, Etc., and lavender lime literary, and follow them on IG: @shell.songs and Twitter: @shellroch.