they come at night

by S. Makai Andrews


late into northern darkness
snowfall beats into eyelashes
like tics latching onto sweet flesh,
 spruce trees and hemlock
soaked in snow like powder

ed doughnuts from gas station checkouts where
they run out of fresh fruit, pack it into cocktail sauce.

 

I’ve seen a hundred postcards like this

taped onto white refrigerators
while the orange desert seethes with heat out the window

adobe brick walls and tan dirt that matches

the golden panes of the house
they sold when I was seven.

when I could treck through the oasis,

broken down mines,
scale up the Pinto Mountains
where you can see

man made lakes and Spanish roofs

country club walls polished until they shine
the smell of grass to pretend it isn’t

one hundred degrees of bone dry joshuas.
children wearing Easter dresses skip
down hills to find colorful eggs

 

while across the way bronzed faces

fat little girls with no clothes and calloused heels
run across the road to the fenced in pool 

where adults sneak liquor in plastic pineapple cups
and kids bob in floaties until one of them
pops
the police will come by at 10,
if you’re still in the water –
 
people drown after dark.

mama told a story of a girl

who got her hair stuck in the pool drain,
someone was supposed to be watching her

no one has scissors in their juice boxes

now we tie our hair up before we swim.
the pool is an old bungee cord

a crutch missing its screw

 

the desert soaks in water until

it freezes,
 
tan skin caught

under the ice

Author Biography: S. Makai Andrews was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her work was recognized in multiple genres in the Scholastic Arts and Writing Competition, and has been published in The Noisy Island and Beautiful Minds, among others. In the future she hopes to further her studies in writing and psychology.