‘SOUVENIR’ & ‘TRESTLING’ by Erica Hoffmeister

sc june 18


tank top printed with red, white, and blue silhouettes of naked women:
a statement piece I bought from a Mexican vendor on the sand
with a bracelet to match, someone else’s name stitched
to my wrist. I kissed you goodbye with a slice on my mouth
from the pull tab of a red can. Piss beer, you’d have called it. The blood
tasted like aluminum, you
always tasted like fireworks.
That’s how I knew it was time
to leave. I couldn’t—

I posed as a tourist on the beach, watched the tide bring in the bones
of the dead. Shards of sea shells collected by tiny fingers—I
used to do it, too, although something always told me it was
wrong. Like my affection for snakeskin
cowboy boots, and men who
swallowed love
like latex balloons.


It wasn’t ever very warm outside
the day we decided to start summer

in fact, it was pretty fucking cold

cold splashes of water on the backs of our thighs still
covered in peach fuzz
cold mud sinking into the calluses of our hands fresh
from the monkey bar race the last day of school when
our teachers blared the
cold air conditioner to keep us quiet the last forty
minutes of Lion King
cold spandex creeping up over our protruding hip
bones that have not yet met the coarse fibers
of a cheap oriental rug
cold blades of grass digging into the soft patches
of winter-white wrists
cold blades digging into the soft
white wrists

because the hose water in the very
least was for that first spurt
that initial moment

deceptively warm

Born and raised in Southern California, Erica Hoffmeister earned her MA in English and MFA in Creative Writing from Chapman University’s dual degree program in 2015. She has both poetry and fiction published or forthcoming in So To Speak, Rag Queen Periodical, Rat’s Ass Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, FreezeRay, and Literary Mama, among others. She was also a runner-up for the Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize in 2016, and received an honorable mention for the Lorian Hemingway Award for Short Fiction in 2014. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and daughter, Scout Séverine, where she writes, teaches, and perpetually misses home—wherever that feels like at the time.