that summer we peeled our skin off and forgot our bodies / we talked about our boyfriend’s tongues / and butter knife fingered we took them in wet /

                                                                                              lily scented hands / and laid them out on our kitchen tables /

                                                                          to know them outside of their jaws / to understand our own taste /

                                  without having to bring it to our own mouths / without having to really know it / or to admit to the knowing

                                                                                              / that summer you told me you shaved your pubic hair / lifting your leg up onto the bed

                                                                          / how the first time cut / the red and the red and the red / the water and skin

                                                                                / fifteen year olds then / beach-house light / the drive was long but there was liquor and no one asking so we gave in to the hour

                                                                                              / passed the time forgetting every freckle on our shoulders / plucking the barbed down from our bodies / this new skin ceremonious and bled for /

                                                      gentle enough to not call pain / mac and cheese and chicken fingers / i think

                                           / but it is hard to know for sure now / you pull out a coffee thermos full of good liquor we mix with dollar soda

                                                                         / fluorescent bathroom / monkeys on the curtain / she takes her time with the glasses / while i lick the sprite off of my hand / while you play pink sugar and publix brand oregano off of your phone speaker

                                                                                              / we say nothing

                                            / of the salt coiled in the dark / the figs rotting in the sink /

                                                                                              of our own tongues / safe within the tombs of our mouths / hardly notice when they touch /

              nbsp;                                                                                     (what did you see on the beach that night)

                                    / the beast in black and teeth /

                                                                          somewhere near 27th you can still find my arm sticking out of the sand at low tide / your tan legs in ponte vedra /

                                                                                              but we haven’t found them yet /

                                    instead / in the marble and flicker of the light / we cut green apples / rub the skin on our necks /

                                              sleep in the bathtub / ignore the moments of our skin / touching / take everything that hurts a little as a hint to keep going

                                                                                                  / but not this / not our own soft / too known / to kill / gently /

                                                        call our moms in the morning                                                        

                                                                                              / hang up before they can ask

Katie Clark is newly twenty and working on loving the world. Katie is on staff at Vagabond City and has interviewed Franny Choi and Emily O’Neill, amongst others kind enough to share their time. Katie’s latest work can be found in Nostrovia!, CCM’s Shadow Map anthology, and Third Point Press.