but sometimes i’m still in the summer when you burned your hand on a sparkler so we drove a half hour for burn spray and the overhead lights in the supermarket made me squint like the sun and that was the summer a man shot himself in the parking lot of my work and the day was bright and hot and everyone walked on tiptoes and talked quiet and everyone stared down at their feet when we left for our homes
i’m in that summer when we rode our bikes to the bay on your best friend’s birthday and howled at the moon and it was the summer we undressed each other in the backyard of our apartment building and had water balloon fights running screaming through the neighborhood with our weapons wet in our hands and i grew pink daisies on the porch
that summer i crawled into cornfields at midnight and wore the stars on my cheeks wine heavy in my belly but i still swallowed every sunset sitting on the front steps and i melted across our kitchen floor and flies got in through holes in the screen door so i killed them with the palms of my hands and that summer i looked in the mirror and saw myself for the first time wide-eyed and hair wild like the stray cats that slept on the hood of my car. every afternoon i stretched out naked in the sun and pressed my lips to the linoleum and asked for that summer to keep stretching like my arms tan and tattooed over my head so sometimes i wake up sweating my heart still clenched in the heat of its fist.
Katy Haas is a poet and collage artist from mid-Michigan. Recent works have appeared in Taco Bell Quarterly, Bracken, Variety Pack, and Afternoon Visitor. Find her on Twitter (@katyydidnt) or Instagram (@mouthshroom).