"Sprawl" by Lexie Smyth

“Sprawl” by Lexie Smyth

My mother and father pull at each other in the night.

Light makes their poles flip and they repel each other

by day. I crystalize under the heat of your touch until you

crack me open to scoop the sweetness lying beneath.


A tree fell onto the transformer at the end of the cul-de-sac

last night. I couldn’t tell the popping and crashing from

the ongoing argument of my parents’ bedroom. The whole

neighborhood is without power. The three year old next


door sits out on his front step, sticky with purple popsicle

and grass. The girl at the end of the block is denim and

milk. Her legs drape out of the car window, the radio

keeping her boredom company. I wonder if I’ve ever


looked that fresh, ready to be plucked from a low-hanging

branch. I decide that I must have. Once. Something about

my mother’s flowerbed feels garish. It makes me want.

I fantasize about binging on strawberry flavored candy.


Everything here feels over ripened, like breasts in a bikini

top one size too small. Revulsion and attraction play

patty cake in the driveway. I think about the way your

mouth wanders on my stomach roll as I water the plants.


Lexie Smyth lives in Brooklyn, NY where she is a receptionist by day and a MFA in Creative Writing candidate at the City College of New York by night.  Smyth’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Granny Smith Magazine, The Marymount Manhattan Review, Neon Literary Journal, and The Smoking Poet.