Reconstruction 11

by Madison Lazenby



I remember feeling like a watermelon,
all green & swollen

with breaks & bites
& breasts before-their-time.

The season started the moment
the cicadas came up for air.

I don’t know when it ended.
In June,

I held the matches
that started the bonfire. In July,

I was given a butcher’s knife
to cut up the fruit salad

for everyone that had travelled
for the barbeque.

By August, boys pushed me into the pool
so many times that I learned

not to scream: just close my eyes,
hold my sunburned hands over

my nose & mouth, wrap my arms
around myself

in case anything fell out,
& wait to return to the surface,

belly first, then head— No.
That was too boring,

too silly,
too little kid,

so my older cousins & street friends,
all boys & almost-men, picked me up

by my arms & legs & threw me headfirst
down the slip-n-slide.


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