“Chasing Sunshine,” acrylic on canvas, by Sandy Dooley, 2011.

by Alexis Misko

I feel the kind of sticky
I should feel if this were Georgia,
if I were in an Alice Walker novel
with a fist full of blackberries
staining my southern grin.

But it’s Ohio in summer,
with train whistles and
window units buzzing and
my white legs dotted with bruises
and mosquito bites,
the air crisp and floral
like the lilac bra straps peeking
out my grey tank top.

I was wearing this bra
the afternoon we had sex
at your mother’s house,
when I was 25 pounds heavier
and it was too tight with breasts spilling over,
us both scrambling for my jeans
when the floorboards creaked
like we were in high school.

New pairs of hands
have touched me since then,
but leaning back against this
broken lawn chair smelling plastic
it is only yours I remember.

Purple haunts me now,
carried on the wind in scents
I might know personally,
sitting in that sunny field getting to know God
or in the wedding colors of a friend and
the dusting of night settling on skin.

What was sadness is impatience now as
I realize I do not long for you,
but for a better man
to bring me lavender cupcakes and spill frosting on his tie.

omega man

Alexis Misko’s work has appeared in the poetry anthologies The Ides of March and Celebrate! Young Poets Speak Out, as well as Til’ All Are Free, a publication supporting survivors of human trafficking.