By Sophia Plecas Warren
I touched lost water.
Running through puddles
and up into woolen socks
and swollen feet.
I don’t know if you felt my teeth rub against yours,
but I swallowed scrapes and bleeding gums.
And I sucked against broken capillaries
and I drenched myself in spewed saliva and frost bitten toes.
We went far from here.
There were roads and signs
and gas station restrooms with no toilet paper.
And there were sunglasses tried on in giggles
and nascar jackets
and children’s basketballs
and raccoon tails.
I held the pump and your hand rested over mine as
you taught me how to clip it into place so I could sit in the heat of our car,
contacts fogging and eyes tearing.
You trimmed my fingernails in shitty motels,
let the clippings fall onto stained carpeting,
tv blaring in the background.
I remember open palms
and the way yours never met mine
and the way that you clawed deep into my lifeline
and held tight as blood pooled.
I never said stop because it meant nothing.
But you wrapped fists around my spine
and there was nowhere else to go
but to stay
and rest my head back against a rickety headboard.
You taught nothing
but I learned to look into the mirror
and see the back of my head
and the clasp that held my grandmother’s pearls against my lightning neck.
I wanted your strings to vibrate against my open stomach.
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