That summer was so hot that
the tar on the roads
and ruined my sister’s favourite shoes.
Viscous black ropes of it clung to her
greedily, sucking her little feet
down into the earth.
Algae bloomed under the surface of the water
until every river rotted, stagnated,

These fragments
are all I have of it.

It was a gasping and a sweating,
the close air drooling its heavy breaths
down the back of my neck.
It was the
stale insides of the family car,
damp palms, hot
a child’s body
that I lost somewhere between then
and now.
It was
savage heat that
tore and fucked and hazed,
a light too bright to see.
Swimming pool chlorine the only relief, so my
hair was stiff with it,
head full of the dry cracked earth
that made mud look cool
and clean.

The heat was a
searing mouth that
slicked its tongue into my ears,
my mouth, that
bit at my neck and
licked its way along the flat skin
where breasts one day would be,
the heat
was spindle-fingered, blunt nails
gently rasping up and down and up and down and
loving me stroking me slipping
over me under me
into me.

There is a well where my insides should be
that burrows down to the core of the earth,
and my greatest fear
is that one day
I will fall in.


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