of a summer

june nights in texas
bring warmth that clings like satin
in the dark, gentle smooth richness
on my skin between breaths of breezes
from an asthmatic god somewhere overhead
taking pumps off his inhaler junkie-style;

i settle in my mother’s lawn chair on the postcard balcony
and kick my ashy feet, daydreaming in dusk of the seventies
and eighties– i’d never wish to be born then,
their hair was too high and later too pointy
and i just can’t identify with most of the music
(except led zeppelin)
but it seems like all my mother’s stories of growing up
involve nights like these spent with cousins and friends
drinking on the backs of cars, naming constellations in slurred voices
going skating in cracking-whip lines
swimming under white sun and blind skies:
in other words, being kids in ways that today
seem like storybook ramblings to me

and now in two thousand ten i am twenty going on ten
in a college t-shirt and blue jean shorts i cut myself to fray just so,
imagining myself in somebody’s garden
in trouble for stealing a cold watermelon
the whipping i’d get later would hurt,
but i’d remember the first crisp bite of that melon
long after my legs had stopped smarting.

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