Zoë Brouns

St. Louis Summer Hymnal

these days the sun rises closer to ten pm. 

the city has grown to love you--shakes her mane, showers you with
of thunderstorms and movement, 
in the deep shadows of traintracks laid out cleanly
beside her
waiting to become maps of a new world. 

cherry trees blossom right
out of your mouth.
the flowers make it hard to breathe, 
you treasure the taste of dark kindness in your cheeks.

you become part of the border
between the houses

and the woods you offer
honeysuckle rusted chainlink fences crushed casings under pine needles
from military exercises when there were such things. 
you see too much

and remember more. 

the women looking for an escape,
for laughter, for the first day
of the rest of their lives
find you

you make coldpressed juice with the sides of
their necks and thighs
the back of your mouth the same
colour of smashed fruit 

you knot them
cherry stem after
cherry stem after
cherry stem
tying together
the bits
and pieces
of love to form

first crowns, then thrones,
then houses that turn into
homes with wooden
shingles and messy
beds, broken bookcases
no record players, every wall, 
the porch lights and footprints
muddy on the front deck

all of it, all of it
stretching towards the light,
towards something real. 

Oh, what we would do to each other
if we had the chance. 

Zoë Brouns is a queer woman living in St. Louis, Missouri. She works in public service, but finds that writing helps her breathe more easily. You can find her on Twitter at @alonelysloth and her work on Vagabond City and sea foam mag.