Avery Gendler


Preening petals—we grew into 
		two dahlias curling 
				their eyelashes or young women

		or whatever

they called us. We used shadow 
		and mascara to scare away the blue.
				We powdered cherry blossoms

		onto our cheeks,

swept sweet pollen across our bones.
		I stamped red onto both our lips 
				with the careful arc of my hand. Lips

		into chrysanthemums,

pencils spun over FaceTime at midnight, 
		bluebells spoken softly. Both our brains whir 
				through the XYZ Affair and the Alien

		and Sedition Acts

and vectors and matrices and heartbreaks. We devour 
		two pints of Ben and Jerry's with two spoons 
				and all ten things I hated about him

		and a whole pumpkin

pie in the WinCo parking lot, whipped cream and trilliums 
		sprayed across the leather seats. We met in the locker room 
				in the basement of the Y. I clutched my cap and goggles,

		shivered in my suit.

You smiled like lilacs, like cold milk soothing my throat.
		Floating, floating, we watched the same black line 
				at the bottom of the pool. Honesty is chlorine,

		and easily, fluidly,

I let go of what I gripped in a trembling lip.
		A glacier calved—our mosaic flourished 
				past the depths we’ve known so far.

Avery Gendler attends Interlochen Arts Academy; Gendler tied for second place in the Charles Crupi Memorial Poetry Contest for Michigan High School students. For more information on the contest, please visit the Albion College English Department website.

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