Bailey Lewis Van

Too Muddy

I am me in the way that
grass is grass or
maybe a seed
Once or will be
the tracks the lawn mower leaves
with the bellies of blades turned towards the sun
some or

Me.

I am bare feet and pine needles sticking to
the backs of
my heels
bark in my hair from the tree I leaned on
I have splinters under my nails I

exhale

a slow trickle of water.

I am me and here

and I catch the water between my chin and
 my lip
careful not to smile 
pressing rain in 
between my teeth and

Sometimes there is no way to breathe without choking.

why?

There is
bark in my hair from the tree I leaned on
an embrace that left splinters under
my nails and mud between my toes and
on them and in them 

I am me

and
too muddy for a city girl
I left my shoes on the beach
when I was swimming
and I never got them back.

Glass shards of broken bottles sting
the way that pine needles never did
and
and and
the asphalt is black and sticks to my feet 
like mud but 
this burns too.

Bailey Lewis Van is a young writer living in San Francisco California. She attended San Francisco School of the Arts and studied creative writing under Heather Woodward, Tony Bravo, Maia Ipp, and Isaiah Dufort. She has been previously published in Umlaut and Synchronized Chaos.

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