one summer

by Paula Brancato

(Hold sideways for mobile view)

full
    hot
slow

taut like a water balloon

    self-sufficient

            happy
honeyed perfume

                        scared     careful

tuna fish for lunch breakfast dinner

             20 shades of lush verdant green

                                                      a sun-drenched path

              it could not last
fear
  shakes
the body breaks

hitting a wall

               dead inside
               something dead inside

the coarseness of the carpet as I lay on my side
white callused hand of the man who didn’t want
                                                                            it or me
salt of my womb
             sun burning our blood

tea of my tears

                        baby                             evergreen

______________________________

Paula Brancato was one of the first women executives on Wall Street, a music producer in Hollywood and a strategic planner for The World Bank. Her literary awards include The Booth Poetry Prize, Danahy Fiction Prize and Brushfire Poet Award. Her work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Mudfish, Bomb Magazine, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Ambit Magazine, Georgetown Review, Litchfield Review, and Southern California Anthology. Paula has taught poetry and screenwriting at University of Southern California and Stony Brook Southampton. She is a graduate of Harvard Business School, Hunter College and LA Film School and lives in New Jersey where she spends an awful lot of time with Myrtle her dog!