Sydney Vance

LISTEN. IN MY THROAT IS A STORY I WILL NEVER TELL.


I will tell other stories, but I will not tell
that one. Listen. In the springtime, sunscreen  

sometimes smells a little like lavender. We tie rope
to a tree and swing into a river, debate

how many articles of clothing is too many. Cicada
won’t let us speak more than we need to. Evening 

is our jukebox. Listen. Some people will never see
this never-one-color southern sky, and what a shame.

We are so lucky in so many ways. We count them.
One, the river.  Two, the lake. Three, the plains. Four, 

the plains. Listen. This could be anybody’s love story,
and so could I. I could say that the wind was pornographic

when it blew through my hair, across that skin tracing the empty
on my inner arm. I could say that the sunset-light made me  

ethereal and undeniable. I could say that I stood naked
somewhere in the westernmost part of my state, laughing,

and wanted to be seen. Maybe I fell for the heat. Maybe it was
that lavender-smell. Maybe the rope. Maybe it was 

the wind or the wet weight upon my skin—
but listen. That story will never speak, never see

the light of day. It would never foolishly give itself away
like that.

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