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Pinky Swear

By Lucy Parr

A fire goes crackling down the hill, slinging bugs and seared lavender as it goes.

The rednecks have lost control of their faculties as they sip on lemonade, bathing in the blazing heat, like soldiers wearily sipping from their canteens, as fish and birds flit around them.

Have you said grace tonight, over your bedlinens for your sister, that troublesome girl?

You know she needs it, a real fault-line delight that one.

You should spill it, before the memory-ing and remembering engulf you,

Swallows you like a chasm that’s opened up from a fault that’s maybe yours.

But, among the cattails and cicada shells, you pinky-swore to never tell,

The cloying-molasses sweat dripping down y’alls bodies, making hands slippery.

A dutch baby is a breakfast pastry that you have never eaten, even though

The sense memory of it is strong and sweet and custardlike on your tongue.

You need a solid objection to keep from slipping on the moss carpet

In that forest you can’t see for the trees.

We’ll let you go if you only tell us what we know you know. What we know we know.

A prisoner’s dilemma only works if you’re already primed.

Are you solid enough to tell them? Must you hold on to yourself?

Fear your fading away with the birdsong?

Speak now. Forever hold your peace.


Lucy Parr


Age 23

From Marshall, Texas

Currently residing in Cleveland


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