by Amelia Stanford

Editor's note: 'roots' was the first piece published in our Tan Lines series in Summer 2017. The series also includes 'A midsummer night's heat' by Sabrina Sanchez and 'The Seizure Realm' by Abbey Jasmine Watt.


you wanna be a 

tongue poppin'

easy goin' bikini

strapped baby


but you're a striped

up tiger, a summer

loving 80s classic

with a blistered collar

choking your neck.


you're painted in

tinted red, faded

out — freckled and



like the mayflies

siphoning in light,

your shoulders

bubble up with

light burns.


you're stuck in that

house between sun

bleached trees with

the flies trapped

in the light bulbs.

Thumbnail image by Angel Boyd.