'Swap Shop #1'
photo by Samantha Malay, Seattle, Washington, 1999

Tacoma Snapshot
by Samantha Malay
semi-finalist in Alexandria Quarterly’s 2018 End of Summer Poem Contest

It was probably an ordinary day for us
walking through empty parking lots
ringed with horsetail plants and blackberry thorns
to my grandparents’ house
as late afternoon slipped into evening
the lawn sprinkler-wet
and the cement birdbath dark
against the gold rectangle of the kitchen window

but I see whole summers inside those hours
feet dandelion-sticky on warm linoleum
a spoon from each stripe of Neapolitan ice cream
while water fills the bathtub
unread letters on the diningroom table
the hinge of a screen door
alley dust

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