My friends who were from the same city
both picked strawberries over the summer
to earn extra money, their skin stained red.
They had a connection while I lingered
on the outside, the way we were always on
the periphery of the protests, feeling the violence
in our bones but never getting hurt, walking
the graveyards of bottles, look there
is a drop left, sip, your throat is dry. We slept
in an abandoned car, curled up in the back seat
as if from a road trip never taken, lulled
to sleep by the voices outside. We remembered
the fields with blood red drops, sweet,
we would eat as many as we wanted
until our stomachs hurt.
Olena Jennings has published poetry in Poems by Sunday and The Anthology of Young Poetry of the USA. Her poetry collection Songs from an Apartment was published by Underground Books in January. Her translations of poetry can be found in Chelsea, Poetry International, and Wolf. She has published fiction in Joyland, Pioneertown, and Projecttile. She completed her MFA in writing at Columbia and her MA in Ukrainian Literature at the University of Alberta.
Heather Knox is the author of the poetry collection Dowry Meat (Words Dance Publishing) and the forthcoming YA fiction series Vampire Wars (EPIC Escape). Her poetry has appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, [PANK], decomP magazinE, Word Riot, Thrush Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Heather currently teaches online for The Poetry Barn and Southern New Hampshire University, and serves as Managing Editor for The Wardrobe.