by Lyd Havens
The summers of my youth were friendless. I stole maraschino cherries from the bar my father worked at, hid in a booth and tried to knot the stems with my tongue. He taught me how to use the dust mop. I switched the cue balls out for the 8’s. I traced my hand and tried to predict my own future. The fries were burnt. Sandy snuck me Sprite in a shot glass. After clocking out, my father drank too much. Ten more minutes. Twenty more minutes. Outside, the street signs melted; eggs fried on the sidewalks. Even then, I wore close to the bone. Stop being so antsy, my father said. I wanted to be an actress until I realized I can never veil my emotions. ____
Lyd Havens is the author of the chapbooks I Gave Birth to All the Ghosts Here (Nostrovia! Press, 2018) and Chokecherry (Game Over Books, 2021). Their work has previously been published in Ploughshares, The Shallow Ends, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, among others. Lyd lives in Boise, Idaho, where they will graduate from Boise State University in December 2021.