There was one August during which
my bike’s tires refused to hold air.
Like lungs exhausted from seeing red
at the ocean’s floor, the rubber wheezed away
the streets of New Orleans. Potholes offered
only magnolias as thanks for the selfish
sacrifice and by now my windowsills
are covered in them. Once, the bicycle
mechanic handed me a snake tooth
he found in the inner tube among a half dozen
pennies and a bouquet of dried roses.
I must’ve forgotten to replace the pieces
of my soul when I unpacked them
that one sweltering afternoon. It was 7pm
and the clouds were hazy with that summer
sort of pink: the type that convinces you,
if for a moment, that there’s something redeemable
about the way the world holds nothing
back from hurting each other.
Makenna Dykstra (she/her) is an M.A. student of English literature at Tulane University where she calls New Orleans, LA home. She is an avid lover of anything peanut butter chocolate and jellyfish, though enjoys them best in separate contexts. She can often be found on Twitter @makdykstra or in the local parks, writing, reading, or admiring the oak trees.