august, after lunch

legs splayed beneath the neck of the cherry
tree you told me tales of last month

when the fruit were ripe as rain,
as breasts, as tender fisted eyes you gutted

with bloody hands. how instead, we scooped
finger-fulls of jam straight from the jar and thumbed

butter and sat among the soured flesh
and shrunken stones. you picked my chin

like a flower, lined my cheekbones in the sticky
sweet dew, told me marry rich

and hold your daughter like they were truths
i should wear, should carry just below my eyes.

Maya Renaud-Levine is a senior at Beacon High School, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She has a passion for podcasts, politics, singing, and playing the piano, and will never turn down a good crime novel. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in The WEIGHT Journal, Idle Ink, Eunoia Review, Blue Marble Review, Girls Right the World, Recenter Press, and Truant Lit, and she is a national winner of the American High School Poets’ JUST POETRY!!! the National Poetry Quarterly.

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