Sex, Kink, and the Erotic: “Creek Walk” by Annina Zheng-Hardy

Creek Walk
after Liz Berry

By the water at night teenagers are fucking.

Where there is skin there are bits of earth, clinging. 

Limp graffiti panting up the wall at their eyeline.

Lick by lick the small rocky shore wets through.

By day the little girl jumps from rock to rock.

Points at things and tells me how they look like other things. 

The star-shaped flower, a dragon in the cloud. 

Her toe catches in the deflated sail of a condom,

jellied with cum. She cradles it in her palm,

places the yellowing scroll into my cupped hands like an offering. 

As she shows me an acorn’s beret, I let it drop through my fingers, 

with my shoe nudge it buried, whisper an apology

for the sinfulness of its indecayability.

Older than I expected to be, 

too young to forget my way back to girlhood, 

I ache in both directions. The wind’s playful affection

ripples along the water, makes even the bare branches sing.

How provocative it seems then, 

to touch nothing but my face to the sun.

About Annina Zheng-Hardy

Author photo of Annina Zheng-Hardy smiling at the camera while her left arm is rested across the back of her seat.

Annina Zheng-Hardy is a writer living in London. Her poems and short fiction can be found in Joyland, The Offing, and bath magg among other publications.