By Maud Welch

Featured Image: Before I Leave by Tanner Pearson

There’s a split down the center
            of your upper lip, like the crack
of a window on that first warm-
            blooded day of spring, when 

cherry blossoms sprinkle back
            broken pavement and we feel
able bodied to birth sticky children
            of our own on training wheels –

so they too lick summers slick
            with sunscreen and tooth fairy gaps,
wide enough to trap watermelon seeds,
            sunflower seeds and corn off the cob –

so they too tackle dappled heaps
            of blood orange leaves and sour
patch wrappers, crunching flat
            under onion moons and rubber soles –  

so they too season in corkscrew kitchens
            simmering with nutmeg, ginger-
haired relatives and caramel frosting,
            as frost settles deep in their bones –

so they too heed the call of the wild
            at midnight on each thirty-first,
finding cracks in this earth in which to
            nest until fertile showers melt away

the space between growing up
            and growing old. Kiss me again
under this home-spun wool, the hour
            is ripe to crack us open –

I want you to.

Maud Welch holds a BA in English Literature from Bates College and is currently pursuing an MFA at Spalding University. She resides in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Rust + Moth and New Delta Review.

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