All I Know About Sin is Robin Egg Blue

By Renee Agatep

two gentle orbs
nestled in a fallen thatched bowl
found beneath the canopy
of a Douglas Fir’s lowest limbs

the neighbor girl
wanted me
dared me to
crush it in my palm

so easily I chose, and
she looked satisfied
before leaving me
cross-legged in the pines

my father’s whistle, his hand
in his teeth, I ran from that
mattress of needles,
smearing the shell
shattered in my hand –

but the rot

permeated the pores,
filled the beds
of my fingers, soaked the smooth
surface of uncracked flesh, and

i never did manage.

to get the stain out
i never did manage
to wash it away

This poem originally appeared in Bending Genres. Photo by Mateusz Stępień on Unsplash


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