By Alexa Curnutte

         She says she lives in the white house on the corner so she can view crossing streets. We let pumpkins rot on the front steps. Slow and sure their grins wrinkle and sag, seeds tangled in green beards. On weekends we push lumps of sugar between our molar cavities. I’m licking spice from the sore holes in her mouth. Hot cinnamon burns the skin.   

          In the woods we braid our long hair. Our curved palms smell like dried apricot and shampoo. Leaves get caught at the crown of her head and quiver in the misty air, thin liquid caulk like goat milk. She wears flannel and I wear flannel and the moss wears flannel when I wear her.

          Paper cranes fold into my stomach. I feel the garden growing inside, feed it paper-mâché. Nine months pass, two sweaty legs spread, one cry comes out of a new and purple face. A small mouth latches onto my chest and drinks.

          Sleeplessness colors itself into the shape of a black eye. She becomes strong tree. I become milk giver, rainmaker. Apples are gleeful fingers, plump and wet with tenderness.

          Years hang from tree branches, beer bottles tickling each other in the wind. Mason jars overflow with hot strawberry wine. Capillaries fill with foam, and my spine collapses into roots and the nape of her neck.  


Alexa Curnutte is a sophomore creative writing major at Interlochen Arts Academy. Alexa is a fiction, nonfiction, and scripts editor for the The Interlochen Review. She is from Jackson Springs, North Carolina. She has received two Gold Keys and a National Medal for fiction from Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, as well as a Silver Key in poetry. She was a finalist in the 2015 Albion College Charles Crupi Memorial Poetry Contest, and her work has appeared several times in the Red Wheelbarrow. Alexa finds warm weather, the sound of the woods, and the Forrest Gump soundtrack ideal in her writing space.