Victoria Benefield

suddenly the color falls to its death
and i see you standing there pale and scrubbed
of rosy cheeks and irises
isn’t it strange
to be so cold?
it used to be summer
and we would jump in the river
the water never warmed
and neither did we
frozen like icepops
on the lake during the sometimes
dad would hand them out like tracts
to giggling children their parents asleep
lips blue and warm, we wondered
and watched the sun bake the waves
like mama baked bread
kneading, beating, tossing
sprays of flour in the light
streaming through the kitchen window
we watched and wandered
down the hall to the closet with the light
and pulled the cord hard, hard,
until the bulb flickered and died
and isn’t it strange
to be so cold?
we liked to try to beat the gulls
and leap off rocks to catch their tails
we never won
well once we won once you
hit the homer and the crowd roared
like the waves and i shattered the bulb
and you screamed like i
had killed a man
and for a moment i thought i had
forgotten your eighteenth birthday
january sixth was rainy
and you stood outside in a growing puddle
and isn’t it strange
to be so cold?

Victoria Benefield is a freshman studying journalism, history, and film studies. She is from Long Beach, California.