A creek runs through Mint Hill,
through the heart of my home,
across my bedroom floor,
down the stairs,
and over the tile of our Ikea themed kitchen.

A creek runs through Mint Hill,
and the water flows with algae, crawdads,
spiders, sand,
wooden boats, baseballs,
piss, fecal matter,
and me,
and my friends,
and as we float on
we catch the sunlit eyes
of a disapproving aunt
watching as we swim by.

A creek runs through Mint Hill
and it ran red in July 
when I hopped a fence
in a single bound,
only for a picket to catch my t-shirt
and graze the small of my back


these occurrences became lessons in regeneration, 
in which I taught myself
to grow a second backbone
when my sides split open
and bite my tongue
till I’ve chipped my teeth.

The creek has now dried
but I am still sopping wet.
a baby girl
baptized at birth
in boiling bathwater.

I always ran home the long way
and locked myself in time sleep
within the bedroom closet
where I forgot how to breathe.

That vacuum of that house,
on the days where I was conscious,
could seem wholly, awfully beautiful.
especially amongst the call of warblers
echoing out
from where a creek once ran through Mint Hill.

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