Just leaving Spring, windowless on backroads
and there’s the mint-and-rum taste of sunburn
some years past reminding me of glasses smashed
in sand. Of bottles sedimented by a fire and the piles
of clothes sopped at creek’s edge. I’ve torn up stakes
I didn’t know I’d planted, bled ballast to shallow
my draw, and as I’m putting cloth to mast, it’s too much
to call this an end. Apostrophe because shores remember
mostly nothing, riverbeds even less, and something must
carry the way we were made compound, elements unable
to separate. I have left so many versions of myself to wilt
with others, unaddressed, pressed flat, and yet I keep you
so close. How distance lets these plantpotted memories
last, pastured out into every new plot. They always seem
in season, sweet summer citrus juices spilling down skin.
Jeremy Rock’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ninth Letter, The Shore, Stonecoast Review, Cider Press Review, Sugar House Review, Bear Review, and elsewhere.