If I asked to hold finger and crush bone, you’d let me.
Let me carry your baggage so you can walk again:
Your mayonnaise-worshipping Grandmother, your
Preachers passionate in their peony garden paradise
Sofas, your sweet tea sticky like tar between your back
Arm where the bottle fell out of your hands and found
Itself home on your skin all shriveled up from the cold
Bath because this is the Deep Fried South: you cannot
Hear the waves taking up the tiny blue rocks, the sharpness
Dousing the air when the day recedes, not the cry of the child
When she gashes her foot on a smashed can of sweet tea
And shrivels up in the sand, smaller than a speck of dust,
Until her mother digs her out from the night darkening
And picks her up again. This is why you don’t go
To the beach anymore: You think there is no one ready
To take you back whole.
Anonymous is an Iowa City resident relaxing at home during the summer before driving off to junior year of college in the neighboring state of Missouri again in the fall.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 182