Cherry’s gapped grin, familiarly sweet and sinister, hangs over me when I sleep like a constellation poxing the sky. There is a force of nature in the early morning that allows dew to cling to the grass, like maybe how I used to cling to Cherry’s laughter. Cherry and me are built the same (strong arms and shaky knees) but now Cherry’s only rotting fruit and I’m his resilient seed.
It’s cobalt and
cornflower reflections on the ripples
of the evening bath you’re running
in the robin’s egg bathroom of my childhood home—
Because that’s where it happened,
didn’t it? The big bang.
When moons and millennia and you and I
blazed endlessly outward in a blur of blue.
It’s the veiny hands of the people we love and
it fills all our emptiness.
Sights, sounds, and smells of
your past and future carried with you—
Because no one can notice what we are
all drowning in but
a select few—
Because there is no other phenomena in this world
that monopolizes sensation like
the blues. They bleed into it all
through the veins of Gods.
It’s a religion older than me and you,
but we all are essentially faithful worshippers to
the sweet, slow slew of blue.
My size two pink water shoes couldn’t cross the footbridge over the highway before envisioning my own untimely surmise. My size ten thrift shop shoes and I like to stand on the ledge and grip the fence and watch the summers of my younger years pass on top of the cars speeding beneath me.
Swallow the black seeds so a watermelon can grow from my gut, pinch the straw so I drink the watermelon smoothie more slowly. (This is the era of first jean jackets) We cradle our watermelon kin but don’t hesitate when we cut through the green and make the melon bleed.
Our pathetic garden gave life to cherry tomatoes bursting with flavor and sour, seedy strawberries. Next year we’ll buy a tomato plant and never plant it – it will thrill me to watch it die.
Curious fingers combing overgrown Missouri grass and stained by bitter berries; ripe and dirty. Wash my hands in dandelion milk, scorch them in cigarette ash. Scraped knees and scabbed elbows, swollen mosquito bites and angry chigger pox decorate my youthful flesh. These are trophies of the summertime.
Grazed all day alone, I bound softly forth to this familiar room. Gently pinks and blues like the delicate skin over my own wrist welcome me gladly. The angel light above darkens with kindness (I understand there is no loneliness like hers) and I want to hold her in my arms. Peeling, faded wallpaper promises a lovely garden where butterflies and blossoms love each other. Rain falls on the thin roof above me and
suddenly I realize
that if I stay in this body I might break.