My eyelids crawl over in bone-fed memory like clock hands. Your lips are the first to buckle back into the rhythmic tick, cracked by the wind and opened wide by childhood’s kerosenic fist, its knuckles rubbed against your teeth. I don’t want the poem to be about pain, but about how we risked mosquito bites over the pull and tug of the body, red-cheeked desire bubbling like a yellow-pussed wound in our fruitpits. This is where we say, yes, that children don’t know how to exist in any other way. This is where the thick gourd holding pearls of sweat like an offering sounds beautiful, where I realize we are the edge of a tongue short of breaking the wishbone when our fingers heat our own stones. The way your sister’s feet threw them, faggot dripping foam from her mouth, and our sneakers kicked the rocks I mistook for rosary beads while we ran, lips unstitched from our secret now streaming salt from your eyes and the sun burning the sky until it smelled of rotting flesh and the sticky oozedrip of shame burning into the flames of hell as I chased my own tail into the house and every screendor screeched spyeyed in the neighborhood―one juicy breath into they’re gettin’ an ass whoopin’ and learning what a flip-flop looks like when thrown at a Black back the fading image of your whirlhip, the satellite dish dancing violently in the southern wind streaming a sermon on television, and, how moments ago, we babystroked in the expanse of your backyard tiny mouths around each other like fish gulping for water, thinking in separate heat-stroked rooms about people dying like this. You buried your reddened behind underneath a popsicle stick tombstone in the weed-struck backyard, ants and candy wrappers caked on the dirtbed of your premature grave. I still hold flower petals and fly gut in my cauldron of a pocket, stuck in the ache-sweat of the last-piercing celloic note. You couldn’t feel it prickle your arms like an alien probe, but the blood orange zenith held its tongue on the and. And, they lived.
Sade Collier is an undergraduate student at New York University, hailing from the peach state of Georgia. Their work can be found in Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Garden Literary Review, Prometheus Dreaming, and other reputable platforms. When she’s not writing, she’s making matcha drinks and hanging out with her aries kitten and leo partner. You can catch up with them on Instagram @lol.sade.