By Terresa Haskew

At just thirteen,
Tommy Lett,
in his pegged-leg jeans,
called her beautiful,
pulled her behind the kitchen door,
face so close his freckles blurred.
Breath nearly left
when she smelled him,
unfamilial and urgent,
her heart flooding with blood –
a diastolic drowning –
as his tongue went into her mouth.

Something fancy fluttered alive
in the bottom of her belly
and she wondered wildly
if a kiss like this could make a baby.
Though she knew her mother
would disapprove, she drank him in,
watering a husked seed
sprouting naked, hungry – unprepared
for the price she’d pay to keep it fed.


Terresa Haskew’s poems have appeared in Press 53 Open Awards, Atlanta Review, The Main Street Rag, Emrys Journal, and others. She has a poem forthcoming in Pearl, and a short story in the anthology, Altered States, edited by Amy Locklin and published by Mint Hill Books. She lives in Greenville, SC.

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