i shouldn’t
have left
without you
in my pocket

instead
you watched me
drive away
down that dirt road
we weren’t allowed on

we shouldn’t
have let
that night
with all the brownies we could bake
and popcorn we could pop
drip from our fingers
like the ocean
warm and deep
that bathed our feet

we shouldn’t
have left
our elevated heart rates
unspoken
and suffocated

the night
you wrapped my ankles
with rope
melting nylon
and my
harshness

both our feet on the table
because you
stepped
in boiling mud
and were still using a cane

you cupped my heels
fingers stretched
along the curve
of my ankles
tracing the shape
of my arches

we shouldn’t
have assumed
our timing
was in the wrong time zone

i only
just
cut
that rope off
five years later

it lives in the box of
shit
i can’t throw away

it’s been a reminder
after I’ve forgotten
your face
but not your hands

and
a summer
we spent
young
and dumb
and kissed
by the sun

a summer
of fish heads
&sweet goodbyes
on beaches
late
in the dark

a summer
of morning baths
in the clearest water
letting every inch
of my skin
see the sun

i think
you made me more
assertive
that morning

because
you shouldn’t
have let me leave
without
me in your pocket

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