The Freckle on the Small of Your Back by Brittany Adames

This is what is most familiar:

Lemon-sucked lips kept still on skin.
Fingers, long and knuckled, sweeping

across a scar fainter than summer.
The back and forth motion of keeping

ourselves whole. How your smile,
all honeyed and good, makes a hymn

from its own ridges. You like to pick at
your palms like insects suck at bone.

Your mother’s fluttered hugs. Dancing
inside the musk of our own skin—learning

to love the world as much as we do each other’s
mouths. Everything and nothing stuffed in our

mouths all at once & thinking, This is alright.
Joy unvilified—as sore and red as our own

two bodies, our own speech pressed against
one another. A testament to no one but ourselves.

You see, that is what keeps this body throbbing
and swollen and as tender as sunlight.


Brittany Adames is a Dominican-American writer. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and featured or forthcoming in Palette Poetry, Vagabond City, Rust+Moth, TRACK//FOUR, and elsewhere. She attends Emerson College.

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, poetry, and creative nonfiction from marginalized creators.