“Texas Weather” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

As Adam’s arms wrap around my waist,
I wake and call the daylight. It comes
for me. The chain round my neck itches,
poison ivy. I no longer feel the urge
to scratch. I’m a different person than I used to be
swallowing Eve beside the apple tree.

I was once Eve’s sweet sickness, but I drained
the life from her crescent moon smile.
She doesn’t play with me anymore.
I play with an infinite evening

and need every aching sunrise to be caged,
so that I can’t see. If I watch
my shadows, they speak softly: Remember us?
I ignore their plea. In the thunder dark,
I long to hold two hands: a woman’s
and a man’s. Two people inhabit my bones,
but my doppelganger went with the rain.

Summer springs, steals every ounce of energy.
I sleep with a sexless infantry.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s fiction and poetry has appeared in over 50 publications such as Clarkesworld, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror as well as in six languages. Her work has been featured on LeVar Burton’s podcast LeVar Burton Reads. She has been a finalist for the Nebula Award and won the Grand Prize in the SyFy Channel’s Battle the Beast contest; Syfy turned her story set in the world of The Magicians into an animated short. She also curates the annual Art & Words Show in Fort Worth.

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