our existence was determined by the way our fingerprints fit together.

we jumped till we were so dizzy that our names blended into each other,

or maybe we didn’t have names at all.

we were immortal merry children,

berry pickers who’d escaped by

sliding into fragments of she

and garlands of bad luck,

becoming intertwined with the roots

of your hair and i kept using plurals but you started untangling you from i.

we were covered in berry stains and that’s when you told me

you wanted to spend the rest of your life curious

about veins and boundaries and

blossoming girlhood,

turning into women, weaving ourselves into anything

we thought our bodies could make us.

when the sun burned through our eyes, we would

bring out our old stereo that played music without us asking it to

and hide beneath the thorns where

you crushed bugs,

shattering their fragile bodies because

you could be powerful

and i laughed, otherwise i would have to think

of killing,

so i licked berries and grinned with purple teeth.

i think we will last forever like this but i wonder

if you agree because i see your hands tucking stains into your pocket for later

like there’s an anything except a now.

i sang lullabies and was the only one to fall asleep, or maybe we both did

and i was the only one to wake up.

either way,

i don’t eat berries anymore.

it feels like i’m lying

to say i’m anything.

forever rotted from the inside out,

so i hand out self like it still means something if it’s not stained

with berries and smiles and you.

This entry was posted in Student Writing Gallery.

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