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History


ISSUE:  Fall 2014

In that endless season of dead grass
and rotted pumpkins, I was a boy
who stood in a tree and named all the cows

in the field beside my house after sodas.
I’d go to Jeb’s while his mother was out,
and we’d wear her white satin dresses—

basketball boobs, stitches stretched.
We lip-synced in our newly
assigned roles, Whitney Houston

and Céline Dion, sequined sashes
wrapped around our buzzed heads,
dancing breast to breast, a distance

we couldn’t close. Our fluid hands
at the chorus, “You were history
with the slamming of the door,” reaching

for our chests, each other’s chests,
the floor. The dresses we discarded
onto the card table, the sky purpling

past dusk. When he asked me to stay
because his mother wasn’t home yet,
he understood the looming weight

of the world, unlike me
who flapped through my childhood
carelessly as a flag. Because I didn’t know then

his father raped him, because I had
no language for the wind
I couldn’t see, I spent hours

in that tree naming everything
7Up, Mountain Dew, Royal Crown,
Moxie, Sprite, Orange Crush.

 

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