Myfanwy Collins

I should be running along a path after jumping, breathless, from a stony bank into a chasm filled with mossy water and shivery, splintered rocks.

I should be running wet-haired and age thirteen up a path away from the water and the voices calling me. Voices, waiting for girls in cutoffs, donning scabbed-over bug bites as camouflage. Girls in shirts with iron-on decals proclaiming, “Disco is Dead but Rock is Rolling.”

My shame should be hard-hearted and smoldering, the whole walk home, tar sticking to the bottoms of sockless sneakers. So hot I should dip my toes into the icy brook from which the cows drink, small fish darting, insidious in the grass.

Later shivering in a sleeping bag on the lawn, all crabgrass and dandelion, I should watch the cold night pass above the hemlocks. Waiting for the dew to wake me, when the scrawny cur with the rotting head of a heifer in its jaws comes home to show me what he has found.

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