poetry by nat raum

beaver dam run or laurel hill

imagine you are in the teal house in seven springs with the back deck and hot tub and the papered panels of gaudy floral print on off-white, the same kind of walls your childhood bedroom had when your family moved to the valley. pretend there’s a season in the air besides dread and wind chill, that a skin-scalding bath two hundred miles away could still seep you into its chlorine steam and suddenly you’re back at summer camp in your beloved swamptown, all humidity and green streaks in your sunswept young hair. admit that you’d still rather sit in the shade with your cobalt blue gameboy bleating secret agent barbie beats. cough smoke from the spliff in your fingertips like you coughed your way out of sports camp the third consecutive summer that your airways met tree pollen and revolted. imagine the pillows of moss strewn across forest floor right now, and the crickets that chime in the underbrush as you breathe straight through the crisp air and scattered steam on the mountainside. run away in your mind like this and you may have the courage to leave home someday in search of somewhere else’s senseless weather patterns—for months or years, however long will satisfy the part of you that never really got to leave the valley. however long it takes to finally drop yourself back into its steamed-crab summers when you think of escape.

nat raum

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