Virginia Strawberry

Virginia Strawberry – M. Stone



(Fragaria virginiana)
Medicinal use: refrigerant; cools down the body




I wash wild strawberries at the sink,
their juice pink as my shoulders and cheeks


too much sun from a day at the creek
too much laughter, too many illicit sips of beer


I was the one sick behind a hickory tree,
the boys joking as I retched, but Sharon


held my hair and told them all to fuck off,
the swear easy on her lips


something guttural/territorial about it
makes me flush, adding heat to my burn


Mama enters the kitchen and
tsk tsks
at my skin while I roll a ripe berry


over my tongue, imagining
the taste of Sharon’s mouth