song of suburbia (reprise)

when you were ten you fell
out of the old oak
in your backyard
and came back up with a pink cast

the neighbor’s older brother
had told you there was a little girl
one who had lived in your bedroom
and wore the same
cherry-stained mouth

she fell out of the same tree
when it was her backyard
and went down in a black box

we laid in the grass, fire
ants making anklets above our feet
tiny stinging welts raised
like prayer hands
and we whispered
thank you like someone
could hear us

Shelbi Church is a poet based in Boston, MA. She earned her BFA in creative writing from Emerson College. Her work can be found in Hobart, the lickety~split, and 86 Logic.

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