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TOMMIE ❋ Allyson Young

I am a dustbowl tonight. When I was young, I loved a boy named Tommie who moved to Coney Island. I wrote in my diary Tommie Tommie Tommie Tommie Tommie Tommie Tommie’s red red heart. He used to whisper to me in the light of the classroom projector – pretend not to see me at birthday parties.

Once I had a dream he came back for me – to New Jersey on all those trains. He brought me to the big rink with the bumper cars hung loose with Christmas lights – waxed wood floors – my tight white jeans, he holds me by the waist.

The Wonder-wheel gives us a crick in our necks, crooked like rock candy on a stick. Like a syringe in the sand.

At Luna Park, two giant teacups hurl themselves at each other in desperate misalignment. They are like everything, like blood. This is Tommie’s favourite ride.

In the hot street a fat puppy stares at us. There is a dollar bill in its mouth.

Look Tommie says.
I say Tommie.

Yesterday, the world was full of poppies, today I am the dogwood, my hands full of mud.