2017 Photograph: Local Beauty by Oli Porter

When I was young
I didn’t know what the word crisp meant.
I just thought it meant good.
As in, a crisp potato chip
Or a crisp apple.

One time,
When I was at church, in August,
I turned to a member
Sweating through his seersucker
And said “beautiful crisp day, ain’t it?”
And he stared at me the same way
The whole congregation did
That time that I asked for seconds
Of the crackers and grape juice
Not knowing what that was either.

But then, last October, I went hiking with you
And the leaves crunched under your feet
And I heard the wind whistle
Through the gorge, deep
And cut by a river flowing with
Cold, needle-y water
And I smelled a bonfire,
Some barn’s fire,
And I got it.


2017 Photograph: Local Beauty, by Oli Porter

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Published by students of Queens University of Charlotte, 1900 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, N.C. 28274.