self portrait as a humid night

Photo by Sydney Shaffer

By Sydney Shaffer

This is a summer poem. Nothing 

else but sun and barbecued hot dogs.

Charred from not paying attention

and too much liquid courage. It is sunburn

and peeling skin days after, the flakes

sticking to the old couch that you can’t replace.

I wonder how each year is so different, 

yet the same smell still ruminates in the air. The pain

on our feet even present from running bare

in the sand and onto wooden logs. 

One blinding sunny day, my sister fell

straight into the water and we all laughed.

Me from afar on the sidelines because I never 

got into that kind of trouble. That made me

the scaredy cat of the cousins. I promised

my sister next time I would be there to catch her when she fell.


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