Sara Dudo is a current MFA poetry student and graduate assistant at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Having grown up in the rural farmlands and along the coast of New Jersey, Sara loves to read about farm and coast life, travel, and women’s rights. Her work has appeared in Southwest Review, Sandy River Review, Red Rock Review, and Wanderlust Journal.
by Sara Dudo
Spring rain skates
into weed beds we
pluck on pebble-stressed kneecaps,
airing out rain shoes in bare feet,
we whisper to bacopa flowers while
showering them; they’ve grown
comfortable in their nakedness.
My father tells me I am overanalyzing, but when I learn of the wage gap, I scrape my knee on the farmtruck fender and bring the blood to my lips; even I begin to taste how it costs less.
Evenings the cob-webbing bulb lights
clink on in the aisles.
Thin-threaded brittle white roots
of flower flats cling to our shirts,
shins black from truck-bed kneeling.
We share slices of sweaty apple,
airing out our words under the oak tree,
heave unwanted onions of our sandwiches
to the crows.
Thomas always reminds me, his tongue cutting through his Pall Mall breath, that I’d be his girlfriend if only he was young again. They all like to comment on my not minding getting dirty, the sexy in my innocence.
It does not matter that my blood was cultivated
for this climate, for this association with the sun-
my throat is to issue no orders,
but to take on water
the way Thomas waters the pansies:
drowning them because he wants to give
I want to feel the way the skin of a man’s cheek bends and undulates at the impact of my knuckles after he offers a shopping cart back to Katie and grabs at her wrists like they’re the end of August, worn out and ready to give in to fall.
Waterboarded is old news,
but May howls in the pitch of women
given to cloud at all these men
walking around with pride just
jutting out their necks,
In garbled phrases,
they demand we
strengthen our thin,
and hands on our heads
in pools they trim
bouquets out of us.