come to me in the summer,
july, when the trees sag with animals
and fat leaves.
there is no summer
bar the summer before, slinking
through the yard on its round belly.
the world was a blue box,
but I was not hiding.
only held close to the chest,
born knowing there was nothing
to be done.
I watched flat branches
cross gentle on the sky,
thought of everyone who’d leave me.
find me back then.
respect the way I dressed
for pain, slowly, in bedsheets
filled up with wind.
I knew, even then, you would kill me.
all multitude of you, gut me,
girls and boys and sidling men.
and still I learned to write,
to cartograph in pencil.
here is a map of the best path
through the short fields — the rotting
lean-to, the firepit ashen with toads.
come to me waiting naked
in the dusk-time. you will be warm
and invisible. you will tell me
you can see in the dark.
Cameron Gorman (she/they) is pursuing their MFA at Ohio State University. Cameron holds a B.S. in journalism from Kent State University and is an associate poetry editor for The Journal. She also reads for New American Press. (Website: https://camerongormanwriter.wordpress.com/)