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Two poems by Siobhan Jean-Charles


“When I was three/ three, maybe four/ she left us at that video store.” –Sufjan Stevens

At the immersive Van Gogh experience, I wanted you and I to see three- dimensional sunflowers drift on our faces. We could have been swallowed

by a blue room, until stars flared the night sky alive. It would have been

your favorite Fourth of July, air conditioned without the itch of grass. Better than

the time I sat on the curb with a friend, drunk on marshmallow stick

kisses and margarita salt, and watched a meteor shower of burnt cardboard.

You and I could have taken

a picture in the bedroom at Arles.

We could have hung

on my wall with Polaroids

of your sisters, my aunts

who have your face and thin wrists,

so that if I embrace them a little

longer it almost feels like your bones

holding me back. Your mother is an oracle when she grabs my arm and tells me

I will regret. One day, I pulled away from your hand in the parking lot, outgrew

your touch and drifted away, a pixel-

iris breathing in the wind.

Siobhan Jean-Charles graduated with her Bachelor's from Salisbury University and is an MFA candidate at Arizona State University. She is the blog editor for The Shore Poetry and her work has appeared in Furrow, Polaris, Redactions, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Tusculum Review, and elsewhere.

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