The Summer of Anne

Elbows down, she licks table, dish of cheese,
serving spoon serving little rose buds on tea cup,
checks her tongue for the taste of necessity,
four walls and a bed, lover on lover, but she
removes her skin while he grows untouchable.
Outside, cramming bones in her mouth, she packs
her head in the mud, jubilant, flips arms out, opens
legs, dirt dirtying dress, hair scratching thigh,
underarms soft and open on the air. Keep going,
tender bottom of shoe, carve the country grass,
run now, run, anxiety in a young body, sun-spiraled
lick of skin, stirring, whipping in between bold lock
of hair, run, and in the wind she can’t help but think
of necessity. No, the sun is too high to worry,
and it’s summer, summer, summer! Now she knows
the taste of God, run and fall, lick his pungent earth
and he will never tell you how to bleed.

April Michelle Bratten has had work appear in THRUSH Poetry Journal, Southeast Review, and is forthcoming in Gargoyle, among others. Her Anne of Green Gables inspired chapbook, Anne with an E, is due out from dancing girl press in late summer 2015. She is the editor of Up the Staircase Quarterly. More can be found at her website: