SUNY Jefferson
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Ashley DeMar


I am every summer
which has ever fed me.

Storing strawberries in my cheeks,
barefoot running across full moon grass.
Tossing open doors, tossing elbows to the sky,
all knees and thighs and shortcake surprise.

Tumbling down hillsides
lips swollen and hips wide
cradling each and every unknown
as close as though it were already mine.

That hot sweat stick
that can only be stood
in the thick of it.

Skin swallowed by cool, dark water
rubbed raw by rope swing and slick stone scratched –
never feeling more alive than this moment.

Except for the last.
And the past.
And the one to come.

So come.
Take my hand and follow me down.
Let me sweet slip that honey’d crown
atop your golden head.

And make sure that you are fed.
By all that I have carried here,
each and every strawberry,
year after year.