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Sep 2019
I am surprised I can remember
the smell of you
how sweet and fresh and neon
like the space that was filled by it
how close our faces stayed
how long did we last
how I didn't want to leave
how we could have stayed and grown filthy
like your floor
if we had remained
our mouths may have done too much
my teeth may have turned the color of your hair
your skin may have become

your bones should have crushed mine
but instead we grew supple
I thawed like ice
you floated down me
mud mixed into the water
bears and elk bathed in us
and the surface became clouded
with dark fur and foam
you sunk your head and tasted
the blood of the elk and the ***** of the bear
I remember your hands were still smooth and soft
and I was not afraid but still shuddered
like a tiny animal

the east path cut out through
the blackberries and nettles leads back there
so does the trail of raisins from the south
and the thunder clapping coordinates from the north

I gathered my things and headed west
where I won't feel the porcupines on your chest
or see the dappled forest floor in your eyes
the river coursing through this place
has no elk or bears
the lips of the boys here taste of smoke and wet cement

now I remain
nestled in my own beauty
like a goldfinch preening
not one of the fat sparrows that
hopscotch on these sidewalks

I know what you're doing
I know her eyes are growing crusty
your hands make knots out of her hair
your bodies grow tired from the rhythm
of pressing together
her feet are bigger than mine
her smile glossier
you will not find otters living behind her ears

Perhaps I will see you anyway
in the winter I will wear a charcoal snowcoat
you will lift me from behind and I will squeal in surprise and delight

Outside my window people sing hymns on the street.
Written by
Ava Weiland
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