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Alyss

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For Life

We stand loud in the pubescent
musk of the blue locker rooms
against the pink walls of
Palm Beach Gardens High School.
She hands me the Japanese comic books
their grey pages wafting sticky rice, edible.

The sun smells of
the paprika center in the
yellow tinted sugar marble I call
Vietnamese Candy, accents atop vowels,
the crumpling shout of the wrapper
not helping me pronounce its name right.
She watches me eat it, her small mouth
spreading atop an overgrowth of teeth into a smile
We rode a million miles away, together.

I am a neon marshmallow chick melting,
on the sidewalk
the wind is blowing debris, whirling grasses
through soft flesh, splinters sticking to me

Can you see the ants of memories marching
away from the grainy pickings? Is that you on
their backs? Crumbling out of me. I imagine:

She will wear a red Ao Dai, gold
cloth dripping from collar to musical
fringes brooming the floor.
I hear it, the future.

The offering alter in front of her
her groom in a matching dress coat
offering the oranges,
patchouli incense to
the sepia picture of her
grandfather.

His stern forehead lines
indefinitely disapproving.

 

Chrislande Dorcilus

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