I remember the trees,
not shaking in the wet afterglow of noon,
bare chested trunks, their branches freshly groomed of their leaves and,
in the time of the cicadas I was tired and scared of the sound.
I’d lay on beige carpets and watch the willow curtains dance before the dim blue sky.
And I remember,
feeling dizzied in the tiny doorway,
where the house centipede snakes over my toes.
where a rusty nail gets caught in the skin of my heel as I enter,
and the dresser drawer splinters and catches on itself.
I cannot bring myself to recall,
The stench of a pumpkin rotting in the closet,
Or the mold in the air conditioner (and the walls, and the chair)
My lungs could take it just fine.
Recalling and Remembering.
The days of quiet halls
And cold cracked walls,
Fire alarms, leaky ceilings, lost power
I never got to thank the woman on the third floor
Who let me use her cell phone once
In my present home, the air is dry
So the ferns and clover shrivel
My dad rips out the bleeding hearts
Growing stronger every spring
But we can watch the mourning doves be born each year
And name the hatchlings that greet us
Amani is a student at the Lehigh Valley Charter School for the Arts.