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I Was Fully Capable of Finding My Own Bicycle (Taylor McCleery Sloey, Lafayette, LA)

I wouldn't expect a birch that lives in eternal summer
to understand the feeling of
holding on to that last fall leaf before it drops
but darling, that's where you have me-
Reluctantly slip stumble falling
each time serendipity face first collides me
in front of your green eyes and messy hair
I plummet
Cuz a percussionist has me beat boxing sternum to throat
and halted breath is pulsing through me like
the yellow light that silhouetted your smile
in that fountain last summer
Bursting through my chest life fireworks
this wasn't a war I was prepared for
but I'm clawing against wooden paneling
not to let you catch on that
every time you kiss me I'm taken aback
back to the first time, I could breath, underwater.
And its killing me to hold this tongue
bite it til it bleeds
while the world around us
amplifies sonnets in the form of mocking birds
and perfect skylines
and clicking bicycles
and I am never going to tell you any of this.
You asked if I had plans for this poetry
I don't
See- an exposed heart corrodes quicker
and a sleeve was never a safe place to wear anything
just trust that there are words behind this kiss
and they WILL fall
as words inevitably do
but I wouldn't expect that be understood
by a summer birch like you.


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