have you ever eaten stale popcorn?
have you ever smudged perfectly straight pen lines?
reached, and fallen short?
have you ever bruised both of your heels?
(yes, you have; i know.)
have you ever felt the aching pulse of a sunburn?
the one that feels good as it stings,
the one that keeps you warm at night
and dulls the points of life with delirium?
last summer i watched the sun rise every weekday
and came home smelling like sweat and chlorine.
my fingers wrinkled like peach pits, and the wind dried my hair,
sometimes i showered. sometimes i didn't.
i would carry my great-grandmother's quilt to the backyard,
and lay it in the shade of the tree i helped plant;
i would lay in the grass,
and sleep on my face.
i was exhausted. more tired than i'd ever been in my life, it felt like.
was i happy?
i don't know.
but i miss that summer.
have you ever watched or felt the pelt of a storm from afar?
heard the thunder purr?
seen the lightning pounce?
have you seen a deluge mask the horizon?
have you seen the storm brew, and yet pass you by?
(perhaps, perhaps not)
depending on who you asked, it was the end of the world.
in my sleepy town,
we pretended to care;
as the sun set,
we built faces in the sand.
i could barely stay awake after dusk.
(it's harder to appreciate, when you know you have to see the dawn)
do you miss the county fair?
do you miss playing checkers with bottlecaps and sunflower seeds?
do you miss waking up to the radio?
do you miss what used to be,
the same way that i miss the pool and my peach tree?
it carries such a deep melancholy; even when i lived it, it was bittersweet. lord, don't let time take this from me.