The two of us pick chicken eggs in heat sticky as a mother’s breath. The heat that rises off of the lake in the summer feels worse than any awkward kiss. Your body is taller today, your hair slightly lighter. We pick chicken eggs for our mothers. Our mothers wear dresses red as the entrails of flies, and sit out on porches, and drink ghostly milk from sweaty glasses. We watch them drink the milk and we picture them as newborns. I wonder if you sometimes picture me as a newborn. This is the first day on which I am afraid of you. My hands blanket my stomach (hands like wool); my stomach is growing larger everyday, gutting itself out the way the waves do off of the lake when it storms. It’s because I’m feeding myself too much: this is what I get for being afraid of you.
In the summer we get too many bees. How many calories in a bee sting? How many of them can line the inside of my mouth, all sharp and dangly, before I die the way a snake might? How many calories are in the shadow of a tree? Us and our eggs sit underneath the shadow of the largest tree we can find, with me trembling, without tears, without *****, just a wooly mouth. Today, I’ve never missed anything as much as I miss my own ribs. Today, you look beautiful like the largest cow. Today, where are my fingers? They used to be so long. You used to be too afraid to touch me.