We are ten years old again.
It’s recess. You're sidestepping
around the trunk of one
of the twin trees on the hill,
and I'm peeking around the other
with my legs lunged, ready
for the starting gun. You might
outrun me, but I would know
that towhead anywhere.
I smell the kicked up grass
before I realize you’re racing
to find refuge in a friend,
knowing full well that I catch
the boys I chase with my lips first.
Luckily, I don’t need to be quick.
My mouth is spring-loaded
like a bear trap and loud enough
to be everywhere. With one snap
of my jaws, like-like digs its teeth
hard into your ankles, and your only
hope of freedom is to say it back.
Allie Long is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia, majoring in economics and English. Her poems and essays appear in Hooligan Magazine and The Rising Phoenix Review. You can find more of her work at http://www.upyourallie.com.