Chloe N. Clark

We watch tides roll backwards
water the color of blood
oranges and thick enough
to float our bodies on the surface
Millions of miles
from where our parents came
they guide us to these beaches
tell us don’t go in
but they have told us stories
of the water back home, their
home, water so clear that fishes
can wink up at the sky
and we imagine cold, cool,
imagine dipping our toes,
wading up to our knees,
sinking into the deep
Don’t, our parents scold,
pulling us back from red
water, bleeding shores,
grip our arms so tight
the marks stay for days—
reminder that we are home
and it is far from any place
that our parents actually love

Chloe N. Clark’s work appears in Apex, Flash Fiction Online, Hobart, and more. She also writes for Nerds of a Feather and Ploughshares. Find her on Twitter @pintsncupcakes

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