Pecha Kucha of uncategorized memories

by Scarlett Peterson



In the wake of loss, I come to be. New

child to replace the children that could not




What can I say about this? The gold necklace,

my names: Southern Belle and Cigar, the pink

I must have worn. 



My first curls, same auburn as my mother’s: 

a toy telephone, my toothlessness,

the denim and cross-stitch.



I remember the roll of my body down the hill, 

not the embers against my skin. The fire nearly

out and I, the tumbling extinguant.



The infant gator in my arms, electric-taped mouth,

four clawing feet, the flash of the camera before tossing

a bag-full of marshmallows down to its mother. 



My plucking the snowdrops and daffodils, insistent

the bouquets would survive. Then the fading petals, 

orange going grey on the mantle. 



My child-hands guiding pen, marker, crayon

over fresh green paint, drawing the imaginary

friend I’d been told to have.



The stupid pinks I embraced, the many glossy

covers I wore down, noting the someday, the 




The white domes of fabric, foam strapped

to my chest, the finally, the milk-chugging 

I thought might help them grow.



Kinking the hose before releasing the sprinklers

in the middle of a bloom-sick flowerbed, the wet

crest of my skin in the sun. 



The red soccer ball, kicked dizzy in the front yard, 

how I never knew what to do with it, just kick 

and follow, kick and follow. 



How I clung to the strange boy at private school,

how we sucked the nectar off honeysuckle stamen

along the hedgeline. 



All of those hours turning pages, stories I can’t recall

about cherry lifesavers, vampires lauding bodies like

mine, everyone living in the end. 



The little oval of her, how I hand-stitched a blanket blue

and dappled with cartoon characters, her early arrival,

her brown eyes. 



In the cinder-block halls, a hug for any body turned my way,

an open lap for the lesbian in chemistry, her shaggy-laugh,

the bobbing lilt of it. 



How we packed the car as full as we could, two boxes

of shoes left behind, the pair of steep sandals I replaced

them with. 



The rupture of it, the crying-pain of a collapsing star

in the ovary. White-hot and sinister, a reminder, an 




The thud-clap popping of my ears at takeoff, the frosted

windows above the ocean, then the landing, the hit-skid 




How I painted my eyes greener for the wedding, walked

cobblestones in a town I used to home-call, 

the absence I surrender. 



The flaying of me under the lights, markered incision

points cut and reshaped. How I woke up lighter, less 

of something, whole.


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