Once Upon a Time

by Hannah Russler


There was you and me
the heat took hold that year
all the clay was melting in the streets.
Our names written on the wall,

in the dirt, the smalls of our breath.

We lived off warm air and caramel bars.
A thousand tiny lightning strikes
adorned our shoulders.

You were handsome
A soft-hearted criminal.

All year we relished endless
afternoons our bodies half-
hung out the window.

Waving days that move like sharks goodbye.
I was bright eyed with surrender.

You say you want to try it my way this time.
The day’s last give of oxygen
swell like the dead.
Huge gaps pull apart the earth

everything shifted.
We tied up the sun, chased it like cat tails
and begged like children to be whole.
We never were that proper family
with working stoves-tops

or porch shoes.

No matter where I looked.


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