Lydia is Antrim County, Michigan
by Russell Brakefield
Beneath the surface there laid twelve arrangements
of the best flowers ever delivered. Rock hard garters
and three solid silver pinballs hustling down the oak floor
of my adolescent home. I still see Lydia buried there,
with my lunch box tucked between her thighs.
Playgrounds and open river valleys
are understandably the best place to have one's life ruined.
The melting snow and Lydia's blue eyes preserved any boyhood I had left
only so as to slowly let it die
in her absence. It was as if she had entered a field,
caught a jar of fireflies and soon after forgot to ever let them go.
Heaven can be pinched from the coast, she always told me,
and between you and I, the blush it puts on seems more or less a boast.
The shoreline slid me into a place
where a blueberry would be blushed and uncomfortable.
Miles spread apart are worth nothing.
The peninsula was only as formative to my development
as aging was to my youth. Juxtaposed,
the weight of twelve country hens on the outer hem of Lydia's dress and
the light of my mother's pickled eyes. Find nothing
but a lactation. A white dribble made of loss and location.
Dates set by mothers are always the worst,
and between the mirror and the kitchen table
I really only ever went with her as a method
of turning sassafras into something less sensual.