In the summer, when school was over,
we picked mulberries in the yard
and spun in circles on the grass.
It was soft and living, warm on our bare feet,
and every day the sun was lightening your hair.
Your mom, she was playing Brian Wilson, and we listened to his brothers intervene.
In the summer, when we were older,
we smoked kreteks in the street
and the road between your mom’s house and the lake was painted by the moon.
It was grey and broken, a hubcap glinted in the switchgrass
cracking through the shoulder.
Our friends, almost at the water, crashed and laughed
against the tyranny of neighbours.
In the fall, when you had gone,
I struggled doing pull-ups in the doorjamb,
and the attic smelled like pine and lemon.
I was thinking of all you’d written on the blue path of my forearm
on the grey road to the lake
the pale night you first squared the pattern of my breathing
and began the long division of your forehead and my shoulder.
This post is brought to you by
How to Stop the Burning
by Zubaida Bello
In How to Stop the Burning, Zubaida Bello’s poetry focuses on themes of womanhood and inheritance, offering the audience an intimate portrait of herself through her words.
About The Author
Chris Cocca’s work has been published or is forthcoming at venues including Hobart, Brevity,
Pindeldyboz, elimae, The Huffington Post, O:JAL, Rejection Letters, Mineral Lit Mag, Schuylkill
Valley Journal, Perhappened, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Feed. He is a graduate of The New School’s
MFA program in Creative Writing.
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