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Remember last thursday

You pushed M down into the gravel

Beneath the swingset

And she skinned her knee?

M didn’t wail that day

Not like the first

When your mama said it was ‘cause you liked her

But got to her feet

And tackled little laughing adorable you

So hard your pebble-dented elbows

Bruised for a week

 

This is like that.

 

She has outdone herself again, the Child

Say the torn sigils

Tangled in bones on the lawn.

All of willow ave is a poem

The residents, sacrifices

Forward cries gargle in bursting throats

Screams and lyrics to the ice cream truck's jingle

warped and blaring from where it crashed

into the community's wrought-iron gate

 

All part of your song.

 

She started this war for you, you know

The boy who taught Death

Romantic gestures have their roots

In violence.

 

Synchronized sprinklers run crimson

Rivulets into pristine gutters

Like ribbons wrapping lovers' gifts.

An SUV

door ajar

Explodes like burning passion

Like fireworks in the kisses

she's heard so much about

 

She waits for one

in the cul-de-sac

Fidgeting between the Millers' and Greens' mailboxes

All dark hair and sparkling eyes

A pretty dress with butterflies on it

And in her stomach

Worried this wasn't enough

 

Best get on with it.



L. D. Lewis is an award-winning SF/F writer and editor, and serves as a founding creator, Art Director, and Project Manager for the World Fantasy Award-winning and Hugo Award-nominated FIYAH Literary Magazine. She primarily writes stories of ordinary Black women and femmes with extraordinary powers in equally extraordinary worlds. She lives in Georgia with her coffee habit and an impressive Funko Pop! collection. She is the author of A Ruin of Shadows (Dancing Star Press, 2018), and her published short fiction includes appearances in FIYAH, PodCastle, Anathema: Spec from the Margins, and Fireside Magazine, among others. Visit her website, follow her on Twitter @ellethevillain, and/or support her Patreon.
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17 Jan 2022

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