Juvenile, the way lips wet the knuckle,

how beak and feather fetch laughter from my

            pit, when the weight of legs are no longer

            freeing. It must be youth that purloins woe

from my pores, folding skin over into a page

of names. Finger to cheek and, foreign to my

            own texture, I mistake feeling for touching.

            A dip above the jaw reminds me of a greeting

departed into absence; vowels trickle into open

air, riding the draft of a breath and a half until

            pavement bites mouth. Goodbye becomes native

            tongue, making loss the easiest part of remembrance

because when sunset tucks her legs onto the

highway, I admit I don’t miss the sound of anything,

            I loathe the creases. Endless: remains flaked onto

            a scalp of tendrils and stalks of childhood, time

for embrace, bracing for the time my hands grasp

an absent body. Let me tell you a story of recovery.

            Mother melted gold into my ears each night,

            our pores would overflow in the morning onto

tile floors. Once noon hit kitchen counter, her hands,

blistered red, would collect the aureate into a sigh.

Florianne Che is a student residing in Illinois. She is an IWYS and KYW alum. In her free time, she enjoys collecting cards.