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My Childhood Dog Jessie Once Ate A Box of 120-Count Crayolas and Shat Speckled Rainbows for a Week

I used to think everything had meaning— and it does.

—Mary Ruefle

And how was I supposed to

not look for her

leavings like Easter

eggs or mud

pies with sprinkles

in the tall summer

grass? My humor back


to ignite, like Vicky

Volvo’s backseat


when my mother’s



out her open

window and back in

through mine.

The little burn

on my thigh

like a tiny camellia,

the blister’s

petals angry

as the lie.

Don’t show this

to anyone, she said.

They’ll think—

they’ll think I—

I butterflied

my heart

like a shrimp

over that. And

when I asked

if I could call

my grandmother

about the rainbow

shit, mom said, Some things

we just don’t

talk about.

I didn’t understand


not shared.

Or pain.

Soon, the blister

melted back

into me.

Like joy.

My forgetting—

human, plain.