cancún By Leila Jackson

cancún

there was a cough and of course he reeks of death

his name a painted curse         in my mouth

i used to sit here          watch the water           as the sun met itself

a boy i thought i knew            spun me in his oversized jacket

and whispered in my ear

                                                one day, i promise

we used to dream we’d leave this wretched place

go somewhere where birds painted    lotuses into the sky

somewhere ours

i convinced myself there was no end             between his fingers and my spine

there was a cough       or maybe it was a cry

and of course the air reeks of sunsets             of promises not kept

easy to brush it off      my back against the wooden floor of the boat

his mouth spinning the curve of my vertebrae

easy to think this is what you want

when an oversize varsity jacket          seems to fill a hole you didn’t think you had

when empty whispers             seem to swell

                                                                        and take flight

By Leila Jackson

Biography

Leila Jackson is a junior at Georgetown Day high school in DC. She has received several regional awards for her work. In her free time, she enjoys poetry and boba tea.

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