She has port-wine stains on her breasts—purple continents tucked in to the split of her blouse. With so many freckles closing in on her eyes, they call her unfortunate. She always says it in the worst ever way, like slob your knob or cancer of the female parts.

She’s a boozy type, alright. Indelicate. Her hem is always snagging up her crack.

She thinks you’ll never understand. You’re just lanky. Returned from summer sunburned with a beard. She hopes you’ll bring her daffodils and white cake with icing. She hopes to be your right-kind-of-girl in a sundress with gingham checks. But you know what’s true: she’s bad news, a dazzling undertow. She’s what the Mormons call a prick to your heart.


for miles it goes
the color of wheat
a hawk hanging stilly
a white horse flat on its side

i dream i’m ten
nude in nightgowns
i crawl out the window
straddle then inch
the rough tree limbs
i grope the old carnies

you dream of birds there
fell dead from the birch trees
and into the crystalline grass
you sense the dead birds mean
actual cream-skin children

i blame our strange cabin
torn out slats in the blinds
remind us of peeping toms
we’re restless
we fear tick bites / nettle rash
fugitives holed up in shacks

we argue if water
is safe for a drink


Dusky in gardens and curious we trade prayers for apostles. It is just for the body of it all. We part robes to examine the panels of them. Press slats to our ears and we listen. Tap them to hear if the heart taps us back. We stroke the taut veil of the throat. Unlatch the mouths and the pearl-onion eyes. Weigh genitals of paradise in cups of our hands. The boys remain still but our insides are roiling. Above us: oranges hang like uvulas. The boughs carry moons in their crooks.

Leslie Patron

Leslie Patron lives and writes in San Jose, California, where she founded the place-based journal Cheers from the Wasteland. Her most recent work appears or is forthcoming in Dream Pop Journal, Queen Mob’s Tea House, littletell, Entropy, and The Operating System. She is the social media editor of 1913 Press and an active member of the San Jose zine community.


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