These questions I’ve already answered:

         How to layer the creamer and sugar in your coffee in the grey ombre mug.
         How long it takes to gather the half glasses of soda and drain their contents.
         How long it takes you to strike and smoke a pack of cigarettes.

I keep stepping in front of the memory of flea markets in summer.

I keep remembering the clammy smell of shellfish in the open ended main house and how my stomach catapulted away from the ocean.

I will never forget how that scent manhandled us down the aisle until we stopped at the Greek key ring you still wear.

How that day we discovered the center spun and in our quiet times I’d hold your hand and flick the band with my thumb, spinning it and sending vibrations up your arm; each time your thumb stroking my palm like call and response.

         like ebb and flow,
         like the slosh against the rims of our lemon drinks,
         like the condensation in rivulets around our wrists.

And when that stranger approached us and asked if it was sweet we said yes.

We said yes and laughed for years after,

until all that was left of us was the taste of that day on our lips.


Athena Dixon is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Linden Avenue Literary Journal and a book reviewer for Fifth Wednesday Journal. Her work has appeared in publications such as Pluck!, Compose Journal, and Blackberry: A Magazine.


:: more from this issue ::

Four Poems

Tania Nwachukwu



Two Poems

Amber Atiya



Rage in Color

A. Montgomery



Nocturnes

Abdul Ali


Three Poems

Hanif Abdurraqib



Letter Twelve

Ekere Tallie



Three Poems

Rachel Long



Re: Surrender

Yona Harvey


Genesis

Jacinta White



Three Poems

Derrick Weston Brown



Zenah

Cheyenne Varner



Is It Sweet?

Athena Dixon