Diego Enrique FloresTexas (photograph)

She popped the heads off of dandelions
as I sketched chalk-girls on the pavement.

She wanted girls with blue hair and buckets
for toads—girls without dresses who shrug

ritual off like the wind. Under the crush
of heat, gravel glittered like the skin of water

moccasins. Here’s the dead end street
where we ran our fingers across fences, 

skipping over diamond barbs. Here’s the empty
pool where we sat with our legs long like

lemonade. What I could not hand over
to the gods of childhood, my sister abandoned

freely. I wanted to be like her; like a cicada
constructing an exit tunnel, skin shed

and left to the bark. Instead, I was more
like the trees, bound to shells of past selves, 

and later—once cleaved at the roots—
to ring after ring of the wood’s slow eclipse.


Megan Peak