Poem for When you Forget to Remember


how our bodies were broken by light; sunshowers branding

burns into the flesh of our shoulders and backs of our necks:


how to say hello to the front stoop boy with a plastic coca cola

and underage cigarette, stomping ash into the concrete, stomping:


how these uncertain concepts - ripe fruit, peach trees drooping

with their brood closer to hell, closer to the core of the heat -


how they lasted long as summer daytime. how kissing tasted

like unflavored chapstick wax and over chewed gum.


how the cracks in the curb looked like the slits in the window

blinds in the morning looked like the dappled forest foliage and


how the japanese beetles and granddaddy longlegs burrowed

themselves into each of these like missing pieces. like


how you did the same in my sheets, how to bleach cotton, how to grow aloe

plants on the windowsill to soothe the ruddy sores left on our skin.


how to look at all the beautiful boys i know and how to look at you,

like the cusp of august, like sweat in our palms, like gin on our lips, like


how to whisper, tender, angels breath, like how to scream: unadulterated,

untethered, unhinged, from the glaring beacon of the lighthouse.


how to say “hello” and “i love you” in the same breath, pupils dilating

at your sight when longing looks a lot like jumping into the lake and


how to open your eyes to look through the freshwater murk at each other:

weightless, underwater, floating, much how i feel when we’re together anyways.


how to imprison the last rays of sunlight in your empty bottle and put out

your cigarette. how to hold this close, like how we once did too.

Audrey Lee is a writer and student from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who attends Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where she is earning her B.A. in creative writing and American studies. She is the winner of the 2016 DeSales University Poetry Contest and her writing has been recognized by Columbia College of Chicago, the University of Virginia, Ithaca College, and the University of Iowa. She is a former intern at Apiary Magazine, and her work has been featured in or is forthcoming from The Sierra Nevada Review, DIALOGIST, The Indiana Review, Glass: a Journal of Poetry, and Teen Vogue. She is a former resident at Sundress Academy for the Arts. You can find her at www.audreymorganlee.com.