a poem a day for a year #19

my auntie Lee who lived in Florida

with the real name of Leoda

would marinade her steak
in some odd concoction of 7-up and spices

in a green tupperware bowl 

that I would open and sniff and sniff

and we would grill the dark meat in that tiny yard of the trailer park in Jacksonville, Florida

near the rough beach 

we would drive piled in her rust jalopy 

with brown limbs of children everywhere

heads out windows like dogs eating air

and I didn't know that the dirty public beach wasn't paradise

and I didn't know anything about broken families

and my body was strong against the tide

and I was 14 years old and cruel against the world

and it was the last summer I would ever see her

before she wasn't a part of the family anymore

just like that

like the rinsing of the sand off red skin at silver showers in the sun