These knees, will be the pick-me-up when you fall on them.

Knees, that you fell upon, crabby and rude in your A,B,C baby swing. You marveled at your mother in her cocktail gown, the shape of her shoes out of your reach. You lay there like a splinter until she picked you up. On your knees, struggling to see. Hide-and-seek by yourself at nine, still playing it, spotting the birthmark on the bend in your knee in the dirt by an equally beat-up tree.

The knees that stalked off after your teenage monologue on rejection. The knees you drummed. The furniture you helped lift, the miles you walked, the mermaid swimming, the double-dutch.

On your knees, you’ve begged when all the mercy was kicked from under you. The knees that held you up in the checkout line, at the doctor, down in the sand like a shell. The knees you covered up in the winter and saved from tough summer weather. You’ve longed for a seat in the crowded room to unkink your forget-me-not empire. On your knees, you’ve begged for your grandmother not to die, and in the same room bounced your child there like a toy.

Down on your knees, you’ve tasted a woman, you’ve held a man. The knees that trembled when you had to keep it together, but your tears landed there in the stone-cold touch of your sisters, friends, children. Down on your knees, you’ve had a very bad day. Down on your knees, you’ve laughed ’til you’ve red-faced cried. That contagious elation. Down on your knees, you’ve celebrated and sang to the floor, you’ve counted – how many more do I need – you’ve played Monopoly to gather the free parking money. Down on your knees, you’ve held your head low after drunk-depressed vomiting, used your knees as a hutch to scribble something down.

Your knees taking you to your last step.

The last time I held my knees I wanted to die, but all the hard light came in.


Kayli Scholz is a short story writer from Ft. Lauderdale. Her fiction has appeared in Atticus Review, Storychord, and The Fem. She is currently working on a novel set in Florida.
Her twitter handle is @kaylischolz.
Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.