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i remember taking snails home

tan little palms became their home

spending most days in july stomping on rain puddles

to prove i could be obnoxious

scraping my knees on dark grey concrete

the cracks on the sidewalks became home to my tears

whenever i felt pain

chewing big wads of pink bubble gum

wrapped in bright neon yellow paper

“only one piece” ma would say

i would grab two in a swiftness

sneaky sneaky

i remember warm chocolate milk

that made my tummy boil

salsa playing from the kitchen

where my mother & her broom intertwined

she never seemed so happy

when 4 quarters got you 4 bags of any assorted chips you wanted

having large knots in my hair

sticky dirty little fingers

and having shoelaces

that never seemed to stay in place

being 6 was a good age

digging for worms before seven

because dinner was at eight

and ma warned me not to be late

rice, beans, chicken, a meal i always wanted to avoid

rusted chains

unclaimed scooters

and a massive hill at the end of our street

that i was forbidden to travel down

the days felt like forever

like a television left on all day

on purpose

tan barbies

blue hot wheels

i put all these things in a box

memories to precious to give away

here i am at 19

unpacking that box


why i stopped taking snails home

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