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  • What I Left Behind
  • Winner 2018 Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers

The summer I found myself in a girl's arms, our limbs sticky        with sweat and sugar, there was a knock on the door. Memory                had flown to greet me, although I didn't ask her to,        just caught me whimpering with the taste                                        of my own spit. There was no one to hide from—                        it was the year I passed my last exams, and drove        to the marigold fields of Pennsylvania. Before I left, my mother had wished mea safe journey, pressed money and medicine                                to my palms. I think of her now,and how robins forget                to return to where they were once born,                                                        and how we walk into the future barefoot,        and forget to turn on the lights. Before I left, my mother and I                                        shouted terrible things to one another,                                honest things.        She had said, you can't be one of them,                                you aren't,                                who                                                do you think you're fooling?                                                        And what a wonder it is                                        to be accountable                        for desire,        my girl's thighs clumping under summer rain.Outside, sunflowers turn away        from their own shadow.                                                        The truth is        I wanted to run away from everything,                                        but then I ran into myself—sobbing, headfirst,                                the world blinking dawn's heavy eye and I,                                                                                                                         gone. [End Page 7]

Audrey Kim

Audrey Kim attends Conestoga High School in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Her work has been recognized by the National YoungArts Foundation and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.



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