It must have been June
during this last moment of Carolina air, ripened
by whiffs of straw, damp from afternoon moisture. Evenings so sweet
They drip down the back of my arm in colors of peach juice.
I’ll capture it like a creature, obsess in phases. Press its delicate memory
into cardstock, wings spread in dissonance, its beauty
preserved as cold as a marble bust.
Or maybe, I’ll hold it under the weight of my palm,
guide it into a tall mason jar,
so I can unscrew the life slowly,
and let a tiny bit seep out
when I need to feel it the most. The very moment,
the evenings we played with magic, before summer became a visitor
made to help us feel something again.
Magic spells cast back and forth, here, there. I ducked
a friends fancied spell, since, in my mind, I am never struck and always missed
by a desperate inch. Later, we sat in patio chairs,
playing a kind of Sorting game, insisting
where we each belonged. And I, of course, wanted
to be much braver than I was, braver than I am.
Our only concern was with the sky of this endless age.
How much light we had left. It encircled us like water.
Our knobby knees fell in the grass, coming up covered
with green smudged skin, the colors of a strange pal called Heineken,
but we hadn’t been introduced yet.
In the summer swells of today, it is more of a slow singe
that trickles down from the top of my head, slowly,
covering my body, cauterizing
my adult wounds, slowly,
for stronger skin to endure the rest
of the seasons. The introspection of winter, the bitterness of spring.
Autumn is complete brevity in its own right. Slowly,
(I’m reveling in how much more light we have left)
everything ends. Now,
More adult than child
More young than old
and Summer does not recognize me anymore.
As children playing in the yard of the summer evening heat, burning away
bright with the pine,
I remember laughing so hard.
The act of pushing our way through the rough break of the waves
into the steady and lucid doldrum,
effortless. And what a feeling it was to feel
so simply, but not understand how it was all such a privilege. Each descent,
About the Author
Barclay Ann Blankenship is a writer with a B.A. in English, Literary Studies from Appalachian State University. Recently, she received Appalachian State’s David Hodgin Writing Award for poetry and has an upcoming publication in Cold Mountain Review. Her work has also been published through HerCampus, The Odyssey, and Creative Communications. She also has ongoing publications with Appalachian State University websites and She Rose Revolution. When not writing, she can be found reading often, playing guitar, or somewhere outside.