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Mrinalee Reddy 

Do you remember when we were eleven? 

The roads seemed endless beneath us


I’ll always reach for you

In the crystal morning air 

We’ll climb back up the

big red fish

feet scrabbling to hang from its edges

you on the left, me on the right

fingers meeting in the center

over its gills

Laughter sharper than the jewels of

raindrops sliding off leaves

into sandy banks

We were two ships in the night 


Celestial twins

did we once run through the woods

underbrush sweeping below our bare feet

When I was the bow arching back and

you were the arrow flying straight

Till traces of our collision still

flutter throughout the universe

But by the time the dust settles

We’d already be far away

Do you remember that?

before time started ticking

and the earth started turning

and the world was only as large as

the pulse between our hands


Arms pumping, the world beating in my ears

I see you sprint in front of me

Metal flashing between your teeth

cheers boiling my blood

The universe tilts on its axis

Sweat pours off me as 

my back meets the grass

always falling



I colored the inside of my shoes purple

widening the chasm

but what’s yours is mine

and I’m only yours

Still, Dusk’s breath crystallizes

coming home, still 

arms search for the curve of your waist

but the crescent moon spins up,

gone in a flash, 


I’ll keep losing 

I’ll fall and sink and swim and scrape back up 


if it means you don’t pull away from the horizon 

when I arrive


But I know better.


Look, the fingers of Dawn peel over

cresting waves of mountains

We better get going

Our hands slip past each other

like stars grazing their colossal surfaces

pulling back

Circling away around the universe

Dust rises in a cloud 

the tentative silence

is shattered 

and the red fish watches impassively

out of its beady plastic eye


Do you remember when we were eleven?

Let’s go back to that.

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