I swirled my feet in the bare, uncut
Florida grass at thirteen years old.
A sturdy turf with a thick blade, beckoning
a barefoot walk, so unlike the flesh, the real things.
The things that were almost never pretty. The things
that made you accustomed as you grew, to avoid
the eyes of strangers, that made you tear out
old diary pages, ashamed of who you thought
you once were, that wrote the definition of family
as a perplexity, of unclear mixed messages,
that caused age to come with victory
and forced you to learn
what’s made you grow.
The things that taught you
to let words go
and how to say
Alexi Milano is a writer and artist born in New York, raised in Florida. She teaches her students how to push boundaries and entertain with their own pieces of writing. She is co-editor at Varnish Journal. Her poetry has appeared in Red Fez and In Between Hangovers.