Devil’s Lake

Fall 2015 Issue

Cody Ernst: Kids Running

When I reach into my wrist and pick out glass shards,
it makes me wonder if I was ever young, but then I remember
the parties, us standing around by the concrete reservoir,
waiting until sunset to mix the assorted pills we stole,
making red fire by burning fistfuls of lithium chloride,
and, at sunrise, crawling back into our cars naked
and fixating on the radio. Other times, in a basement,
I watched friends play dominoes for days, pressing and drinking
fresh-squeezed orange juice with them. Maybe we were bad.
I remember shooting kites for target practice at the state wetland preserve
and blowing mouthfuls of chalk dusk into each other’s faces
like a type of magic trick. Our swimsuits shrunk on the sidewalk.
One night, we ran in formation through a dying forest
and followed a path for miles into a cave beneath town.
It was a tomb, we realized, a quarter way through.

CODY ERNST has poems appearing in Best New Poets 2015, Bat City Review, Diode, and elsewhere. He is an instructor at The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and serves as a poetry editor of The Adroit Journal. More from this issue >