Most teenagers still believe in god
Kimberly Ann Southwick
These record-breaking days of heat tell a story—
your turn. Tell me a story, a story of why

and a story of how: why you sink in the sand at the sea,
how you are the unbreaker of my squarish heart, 

your hair circle-swept like mine but a boy's. Tell me
that I'm smart as a whale. 	I woke you once 

with a ladybug that I found in a jar of honey,
and once recovered, you said you'd never been more terrified. 

I'm thinking about foreign grammar that I've forgotten,
probably forever, conjugations of French verbs. I want
to prove something about passive voice, indirect objects
and the French language, something I know to be untrue,

though want it not to be.	 I want to tell you again
about the stars. I want to show you Ursa Major

for the first time, again. You were eighteen,
and no one had shown you until I did.

We looked up, not ruining things, just looking.
We imagined, instead of a bear, a truck. Your old truck, 

your dad's that he took back when he kicked you out.
You spelled the truck for me, the empty bed of it, and I imagined you 

lying in it, staring at the sky. We both stood near the bay,
looking up in the dark, the distance between us chosen, palpable.

We found the bear and left, letting codes in place for decades
stay as they were then, as they are.

My head for you is feathers not dust, like seashells intact

but demanding sand. My heart for you is only wax.
The moon is new; the tide is low. Go to the shoreline tonight, 

gather seaweed in your hands, and for dinner,
bring it in clumps to the house where I am permitted to stay.

Kimberly Ann Southwick is the founder and editor in chief of the biannual print literary arts journal Gigantic Sequins. Her second poetry chapbook efs & vees comes out summer 2015 from Hyacinth Girl Press. Visit her online here, and follow her on twitter, too: @kimannjosouth

more by Kimberly Ann Southwick:
friday february 13th, 2015
teenagers, in general