portion of the artwork for Ava C. Cipri's poem

Ava C. Cipri

Like an erotic tantric chant: Lyd-i-a.
Sixth grade
you sat right behind me in homeroom.
My straight black hair against
your white-blonde wavy locks.
I’m not sure how it began; as study buddies,
roller skating, or collecting stickers.

A day like no other. After school
we took the bus to your house
& went down to the cove to fish.
We didn’t have any luck.
That night we painted our nails,
watching Christine for the first time on HBO.
Your hair smelled of salt & caramel; we talked
about boys we liked, we played truth or dare,
& it got late, fast.
We decided to stay up the entire night.

Then, we’re framed like this in your white canopy bed.
I like it like this, your words
as you take my hand.

No, like this, & you show me
moving your fingers lightly, caressing my arm
until I learn. Oh, like this

& our mouths open, like this
& the taste of watermelon Bonne Bell Lip Smacker …
& all the world’s doors unlock, its lockets fall away
& I cling to the stars in your hair, with the dimming flashlight
under the sheeted sky
as the house distorts dawn: Your father yelling, whore,
as your sister’s car engine wouldn’t turn over in time,
& the breaking of glass; bottle shards
scatter across the porch.
But here,
with you, I hold on
like this
& nothing splinters, we
rewind the ballerina in your music box,
taking turns
losing ourselves
in every note
spinning against the darkness.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 50 | Fall/Winter 2017