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Jamie Colwell


Against the wind on your grandfather’s porch, the summer

sun dries salt water into salt. Our swimming trunks like

two flags on display— 

we’re patriotic for 

what we take off to reveal our bodies. In the yard,

we carry the compost 

to the garden. You spit in the decay— 

there’s no reason not to, 

black banana peels and shredded tea leaves don’t mind

your saliva on their skin as they become 

fertilizer for already rich soil. 

We’re back from the beach. I threw up 

ice cream and a ham sandwich out the window of your car

from oppressive July 

heat and your refusal 

to turn on the air conditioning.


Inside I hide 

my candy from your mother, 

the woman who tells us to 

go on walks while it rains. I never 

know when she’s looking 

so I keep my shirt on when we have sex.

According to you, a series is finished 

as soon as possible. 

But I prefer to imagine 

what could come next 

before knowing the end. 

We watch volume 2 and you drift into champagne-induced sleep

on my numbing thigh as Volume 2 plays. 

I piss in the toilet and don’t close the seat 

to avoid waking you. I’m on the beach swimming

in nothing but my own sweat. Then I open my eyes.

You park your car in the lot, and ride 

inside the passenger’s chamber with me 

because you have ferry tokens to spare. The boat shakes while

you dance to the song playing from your phone speaker, you

fall and my reflexes are too slow to catch you before you

bruise your elbow on polished wood. 

For breakfast, we went to the only bagel shop on the island.

You watched me walk back in for seconds.

When we pulled out of the parking spot 

someone honked at you and you cursed them out

with your windows rolled up. 

I get off the ferry, I get on the train. You stand 

too close to the tracks while you pick at your cuticles,

making them bleed, making me tell you to stop, and

you grab my hand and show me that I do the same.

You text me in your car and again 

when you get back to the house. I’m sent 

reminders to transfer at Ronkonkoma as I chew my sour candy.

Backward on the train. I watch the world 

move opposite of how I expect it to. 


stopping, but always starting up again 

fast as ever to make it to the sequel, but always moving

in the wrong direction. 

It makes me dizzy so I close my eyes 

and keep them shut.

Jamie Colwell (they/them) is a queer poet from Long Island, New York. They enjoy starting art pieces and not finishing them, Fiona Apple, and the color sage. Their work has been featured in Ghost City Review and SUNY Purchase College's, Italics Mine. They work at a bookstore and will forever brag about it. Find them on Instagram @jamie.colwell3 

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