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Summer

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Another season of sadness
leaves behind a crispy exoskeleton.
Empty yellowed aphid shell
pale and clinging;
leaving me wondering
just how that crunchy little bug
escaped.

My childhood summers were Hell-Floridian long;
spent hunting down ghosts
in the back of my school playground where only 5th graders went
(unless they were sca-red).
From April to October we
robbed from caterpillars,
spun bracelets from thick milky webs,
fearlessly climbed the tire wall-
even when the tires were full of water
(even when she slipped and broke her arm)
((even when some kid got ringworm in May)).

Little did we know
that you can’t really play Sardines with only two people,
that Hide-and-Go-Get is a game for both genders,
that there is a name for girls kissing girls.

And later,
when being born backwards began to affect me more,
my summers were spent
burning and praying.

Then taking opiates.

But spent.
Gratefully spent, and then left behind
or so I thought because apparently it clings to the bark with its foot fur Velcro hooks
for fucking ever.

Fall- appropriate
and humanely conducive to long sleeves,
will distract me with a kinder form of death.
Then the beloved soup season;
dark and Rising and magical,
and one-hundred and fifty calories a can.

It is the eruption of green-hot;
the so-called new beginning
the so-called second chance
the so-called fresh start
that never fails to reveal,
always,
a shell.

And it waits for me like a tomb.

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