It’s summer & all day we did what girls do:
spoil our appetite with sweet bread we steal
& hide in the folds of our dresses.
We are picking the lock on our mother’s bedroom
to dive for treasure. We take what we want:
gold earrings rouge red lipstick
her sewing needles & nail lacquer.
Momma calls for us to do chores, but we run
laughing headlong into the new world
governed by cicadas.
You reach for my hand & we become one erratic body:
two-headed, four-legged, barefoot galloping
toward the emerald field. We feast on a banquet
& I paint your nails (blush for you; dark green for myself).
When you finish eating, I ask if you’re ready,
trap you between my legs,
remove from its wrapping a sewing needle,
pull taut the waxy flesh of your earlobe.
Breathe for me, I say & you do.
Then the needle punctures flesh.
I open you & we stay this way for a while: your hands
squeezing my thigh, crimson drip of your earlobe.
Again, you say & I pierce the other,
wipe you on my dress. The stars you now carry
in your ears. Before the trek back home, we bury
the lipstick & rouge & nail lacquer in a cedar box.
I never washed your blood off my dress,
the vermillion wave that every night I hold
close to my nose & inhale.
Cover Art by Samantha Park