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the second summer you taught me things how soldier creek turned brown and green from sorghum and pesticides and cow shit and road dust and we watched crawdads the size of your daughter’s fist and gar too stubborn to die┬ábasking if such things can bask in the spot beyond where the scum eddies spun against the rip rap where the outline of the bank slid over the water in patterns mimicking skylines i would see years later or the rolling hills toward St. Mary’s we sometimes drove on Sundays the shadows shifting with the time of day and how frequently the road crews cut the grass and whether or not it was a day you popped your head into the sun spreading your hair with your hands and forcing laughter I knew you did not mean┬áthat echoed back off the surface of the creek and the underside of the bridge somehow sounding more real the second time it touched my ears a secret a spell a trick you used well

Zach Straus

Zach Straus peaked at 15 and is mostly held together by masking tape.

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