I Think God Is Punishing Me for Surviving

     Written by Richelle Kota 
     Illustrated by Thumy Phan 

     Est. Reading Time: 1 min 

There is a part of me tonight
standing in a cornfield,
in the warm evening.
The green is licking all over my brown skin,
and all I am is thistle.

I’m leaving those who ruin me,
those who assert their kindness with loaded guns,
and break promises with burning crosses.

this field could be a cocoon, and I, its changeling.
My feet rest damp and I dream of one day waking up unmade. I can leave that in
my other life.

I press my hands on my middle twice.
Once for them,
that they will be forgiven
and once for us,
that we won’t even be asked to give forgiveness.

And I am the thistle
moving through and through
and through.



Published October 17, 2020
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Author’s Bio
Richelle Kota is an immigrant, writer, nature enthusiast and educator living in Philadelphia. Her work has been published by Calyx Press, Ghost City Press, Peach Mag, and Hidden City Daily amongst others. She aspires to live a very simple life on a farm with pigs, goats, and dogs.

Thumy Phan is an awesome illustrator based in Oklahoma City. 


︎Philadelphia, PA
Plantin Magazine ©2020