A Reward For You and The Ones I Don’t Think You Need | by Chloe N. Clark

After the rush
             of our bodies aligned
                   you told me the true story of the time you found a woman
buried beneath the tree outside your family’s home
             you were seven and your tiny shovel
                          hit what you knew would be treasure
but unearthed the smooth white of skull
              with teeth so perfect and even
                            that you imagined that smile for years

The police came with tape and tools
             and cordoned off the tree you loved to climb
                            they unburied the woman bone
by bone until each piece of her shone
            under moonlight and you thought she just
                               might reform into something almost
living some skeleton who could go home to her
              family and make them meals she couldn’t eat
                           could find a job as a dentist’s model

But the police just took the bones away
              and your parents asked no questions
                           and you never found out her name
and didn’t you ever look her up
               I asked incredulous as I lay
                            in your arms our limbs
still entwined our sweat now mixed
              the taste of you on my lips
                            and you shrugged

In your dreams sometimes you said
             you imagine the life she lived
                          before she became the scary
story told in your neighborhood for years
              passed from children like unwanted
                           flavors of gummy bears
and the life you imagined her was something
               good and bright and her death so accidental
                            that you never wanted to prove

yourself wrong.




Chloe N. Clark’s work appears in Apex, Booth, Gamut, Hobart, and more. She teaches, bakes, and can be found tweeting too much @PintsNCupcakes or for more of her work you can find her online at chloenclark.com

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