The body is splay and I want it harder.
I want blister footings back, the crest
of nail color on padding thumbs. At eleven
I didn’t take the color off, each time, but left
it, on layer on layer. Time came to clean me and five shades
scorch-litmused like ammonia climbing
up paper strips, on the cotton, on the blue
bath of remover. Or I would chip it off, like old houses,
a first nervous habit, one that I kept. My hands would
laugh slung and low along the wrinkles from
mothers past. My mom’s palms like mock oranges, their
twisted rivulets rounding to arc, and we kids being told
to throw the fruits into the Virginia creeper along the house, sometimes
crashing them through sweet boxwoods too long after dark.
EMMA AYLOR is the author of Twos (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). Her work has also appeared in Handsome, Two Serious Ladies, Used Furniture Review, Vinyl, and elsewhere. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.