Sep 20

Summer of 2021, but my 15

This summer
I drank flavored seltzer, clashing with ice cubes
Layed on the couch and in the grass with friends
our limbs tangled and intertwined

This summer
The overbearing sky and my skin
prickled with sweat and blackberries
Salt meets inoccent sweet
chased waves far out into the sea until my
feet couldn't touch and refreshing silk
numbed and calmed me
Made friends with seagulls and watched 
the golden light weave her fingers through the masts of ships

This summer
I hitched a ride on a country radio station
and found myself free
I made alien cupcakes
of pink, yellow, green
laughed as my 5 year old cousin
named one Arnold
then promptly licked off all the frosting

This summer
I held hands with my girls
and watched as all of us grew up a little more

This summer
I fell in love
Had long conversations about stars and french
made plans that were never executed

This summer
I found a way to provide some things for myself
Loved and hated working

This summer
I scratched black paper and 
shreds of color appeared
Cut off 5 inches of hair and
looked at the fiery haystack cupped in my palm
tossed it on the floor
then swept it up

This summer
I cried with the wind
and tried to put back together the broken glass
mostly succeeded
Stained every surface I could with ink
in a desperate attempt to escape parts of my life
Filled my pockets with watercolor butterflies
hoping if I captured enough threadbare beauty
it would wash me away

This summer
I carved a statue of scared
then slowly broke it
Balanced on railroad tracks
and watched fingerprinted pennies get crushed
Went to concerts with friends and
only paid attention to them and the food

This summer
I drove for hours and hours
across bridges that dipped in and out of the sea
teased my mother as she closed her eyes the whole time
and I hung my head out the window
Splashed through peach orchards
Got drunk on history and trickled my fingers across hot brick
Painted my nails scary red, then
wiped it off and chose bruised plum instead

This summer
I crashed on my bike and smiled
as my blood mixed with trail dust because it meant I was trying and
not afraid

This summer
I learned to protect
myself and others
Sharply breathed in realization 
and exhaled snarled words, tripping over themselves

This summer
I gathered sweatshirts and seaglass
and creased postcards and necklaces and stuffed lobsters

This summer
I reached the end and realized
that i'd reached the end of my only 15th summer
The only 15th summer I'd ever have
and wished I'd remembered that this was it
at the beginning of the season

This summer
I reached the end
and wished I'd lived it a little differently

This summer
I reached the end
and decided it was still pretty damn good the way it'd turned out