“Recursion” By Jacqueline Donofrio

It was a summer of lemons and cherry pits.
Desire set ablaze with firefly circuits,
Crushed garlic hands that never pulled back.
The heat was so heavy that it all melted,
Blood orange sunsets and watermelon clouds smudged together and there you were holding
bolts of lightning between your teeth.
You were a secret language slipped underneath my tongue.

I look at the constellations through your sunroof and swallow the night sky whole. It’s not your fault. We crept into each other’s lives like poison vines and now all that’s left of this raw and bleeding love is my craving to be strangled and three more miles until the highway runs out of pavement.

It was a summer of running away to the mountains, dream haze of plums next to the river, that sun-speckled crane lofty atop a dark green canopy and fruit hanging low from the trees.
Mornings spent tangle-limbed together in an overlay of sunlight, watercolor painting of us stuck in the rain and I am thankful for all that we experience here in this flux.
There was the anticipation of knowing you would take me to bed and touch me until neither of us could resist the taste of skin anymore, times when my mouth only felt nourished when it was colliding with yours.
We dined on strawberries ripe and rotting.

There is a version of me that does not love painfully. Someone who doesn’t suck the juice out
of everything only to spit it back out on the ground. I have to believe that there is a life where I don’t have to hold everything all at once to be happy.
There is a place where being is more important than becoming, branches weighed down with flowering magnolias and the summer too late to make us change our minds.

Somewhere a pocket in celestial space greets us with open arms, welcomes us home and you
kiss my eyelids and knuckles without a breath caught in your throat.
It was a summer of ease and we were ineffable in our arteries of laughter, the best at staying in bed all day.
We’ve known each other for a hundred years; confess our orbits, our binary stars,
Voices barely audible in whispers as we relearn the hills and valleys of our respective spines.

Summer says that this will end.
Summer says we could be good together, but it’s not the right time yet.
Summer says we could make the universe or our hearts explode.
Summer says I’m
Sorry, I’m sorry for real,
I’m sorry I never really knew myself,
But mostly that I knew myself best when I was with you


Jacqueline Donofrio is a poet and songwriter moonlighting as a young professional. She enjoys horror movies, canning strange tinctures, and traveling but not in that order. She is searching for the perfect mix of digital and ephemeral.

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