Noon & Sunset

Emily Bjustrom

When I was a toothy girl,
Stumbling through the bosque,
I found a white cross among the reeds.

It was someone’s drowned brother.

I am pulled into the silt.

I remember this and want to smoke
a cigarette
like I did with my sister on the beach
of the river while it was wide and shallow.

But I won’t. I will love carefully,
only bum cigarettes when I am three drinks deep and happy,

because I’m alive on someone’s back porch.
Alive in someone’s hands and mouth.
Safe with the knowledge
that in the morning I will spit the opulent guilt into the sink
and breathe away the swill.

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