I drank iced lattes outside Everybody’s Records
in the first muggy Cincinnati summer that I pretended
to like coffee. Thought it made me older. Bought
the Black Keys vinyl with the fried egg in the center,

got side-eyed by the clerk in the comic book store.
I always lingered too long. I knew more about
potholes than my body, but enough to cross the road.
The Irish pub wasn’t yet a burnt-out shell.

I peeled apart my fingers from ice-cream stick
when I got cat-called for the first time. Here I learned
of poems coming up from the ground like worms
after the rain. The summer storms dripped off

honeysuckle on the run home, hot steam
rising from the road. I escaped into my room,
didn’t know I was feeling childhood drying up
from my skin. Thought it was the A.C. Thought

girlhood was all records and angry poems
and waiting for the rain to stop.

Maura O´Dea is a poet and writer studying Creative Writing at the University of Iowa. She is the Executive Editor of earthwords: the undergraduate literary review, and her work can be found in InkLit Magazine and Wilder Things Magazine.