"Near Soak" by Nooks Krannie
water is where we met. water is where you met her. the roads were broken and i was told by nurses that my knee will forever bear a milky brown evil eye. tea in sugar cups and rose paint jobs had borne a flesh, mine, on my knee. good, at least it will cover my stretch marks. it didn’t and i grew too much. i used my index finger to rummage inside my sock, under my heel, for tiny rocks when you appeared in front of me. i looked up and you were staring. before i could understand your presence, you smiled and that’s when i felt them on top of my head. rocks. broken stones, tangled in sea, roots. brown again, ugly green like a rusted corpse. i looked at you and saw your mouth move but i couldn’t hear any words, just a loud crunch getting louder. i could feel the kelp between my teeth, grained, raw, i couldn’t spit it out. why can’t i spit it out? i exhaled but there was nothing but air, i grated my teeth and bit my tongue. and more teeth, sliding. air exiting and salt. ku. i heard your name before you meant to say it.
ask me where i live. ruffle of magazines and a soda can from the school’s vending machine. you hand it to me without saying words. cardboard paper and wooden gashes. ask me. cardboard paper and wooden gashes.
fabric of my life is fabric. giant leaves and unnatural horticulture, sewn in threads on POD anytime, any day. i saw you covered in a kingdom, no basic nerves to feel animal pain. i was almost ready to decide that i was a grown up so i showed you my shoulder. you couldn’t say anything because there was nothing good between us. you were there though. when i ran from inside the trees, i was her, running after you. i ran and ran, till she slipped in the mud and became a magazine cover, pages to play with. don’t smile and cover your eyes. i wasn’t her, not anymore. i played under a bridge of concrete, soda can slipping across my cheek, soda spilling on shoes, rocks, fizzing brown. hissing at me for $2 worth of pain.
water is where we met and still meet. at least i meet you in some form. we play games and pretend to be bigger than our muscles. a giant scoop of sand, we stand on different curves yelling and laughing. strings of precious metals bind your hand to gloss paper. we are too childish to scream into salt and hold hands. i can see tiny drops of blood on your side jaw and that’s where i’m reminded of her, in magazines and paper cuts, pouring in pseudo intervals, in echos, barely, holding your hand.