How I Got Red Hair as a Child by Malaika King Albrecht

"Untitled" courtesy of Rachel Kertz
“Untitled” courtesy of Rachel Kertz

The first ghost I met

 

said he could extinguish

 

me like a candle flame.

 

A single gust, and I’d be gone.
I learned to breathe light

 

into every cell of my body
by holding my breath

 

until I could hear a roar

 

in my ears like I’m a forest fire,

 

until I felt lit, until I could say, “I dare you.”

 

Photo credit: Amani Albrecht

Malaika King Albrecht is the author of three poetry books. Her most recent book What the Trapeze Artist Trusts (Press 53) won honorable mention in the Oscar Arnold Young Award and was a finalist in 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Her chapbook Lessons in Forgetting was published by Main Street Rag and was a finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received honorable mention in the Brockman Campbell Award. Main Street Rag also published her second book Spill in 2011. Her poems have been published in many literary magazines and anthologies and nominated for Pushcarts. She’s the founding editor of Redheaded Stepchild, an online magazine that only accepts poems that have been rejected elsewhere. She lives in Ayden, N.C. with her family and is a therapeutic riding instructor.

Rachel Kertz was born in a small town in Missouri in 1988. While earning her degree at Southeast Missouri State University, she became interested in photography and began using her commutes as excuses to go on long drives through the rural countrysides, hoping to find locations and abandoned houses to photograph. She hopes to convey relatable stories in her images that speak to her audience on themes such as loneliness, love, exploration, and the feeling of being alone in unconventionally beautiful places. You can find more of her work here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/atticgirl/

Germ Magazine guest author
… is a contributing guest author for Germ, which means the following criteria (and then some) have been met: possessor of a fresh, original voice; creator of fresh, original content; genius storyteller; superlative speller; fantastic dancer; expert joke teller; handy with a toolbox; brilliant at parties; loves us as much as we love them.

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