Stone Telling

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Weed Garden

by Alina Rios

Take me to that garden
overgrown with ivy and weeds
where rare beasts roam, unguarded

watched only by you.
Let me see them.
I won't run,

I might tremble
when the rarest approaches
his breath overwhelming

with want and fight,
earth cycle passing,
and blood-stained teeth.

Don't hate my fear–
lick it off my back
and watch me

wrap my arms round
the matted fur,
inhale all scents,

speak the words
I learned to forget
in my own weed garden.

Alina Rios is an immigrant and a dreamer. She spent the first part of her life in St. Petersburg, Russia, and now lives in Seattle with her 7-year old son and a ghost-cat. Her short fiction has appeared in Grievous Angel, The Colored Lens, and Beorh Quarterly. Her poetry has appeared in Apex, Interfictions, StarLine, Camroc Press Review, Neon, and other fine places. Her website is

Photography: adapted from Lierre (Hedera sp.), by Thomas Bresson.