Photo by Greta Unetich
I have the route memorized now— Kennedy to 96A to 138, past Interlaken and Trumansburg to 89, straight into Ithaca. Cayuga Lake stamped on my wrist forever, gripping the steering wheel through golden fields and shining water, bright behind me in my rearview mirror. Behind me, gone is our stars and swimming hole, dewy grass, walking late outside down steep roads into town. I remember stepping into bed with you for the first time, thinking I’d be cold. This is just how I remember it, the end of August all those years ago. Wading into the black nights up to my thighs and just standing there. Crickets and cicadas humming. Thinking I’d be cold at night. The light of the setting sun makes me cry. I lift my hand to turn the steering wheel and coast down and around a curve in the road. Gold coats my hand down to my elbow, stained gold, August in my memory, the golden stained-glass eyes I now see the world with.
Some things will always be permanent.
It’s 7:00 in the evening in August of the summer of ’22. That time in August when my dad starts saying that the days are getting shorter, that the cricket songs mean that summer is ending. I’ll always think of you at this time. I’ll always remember your address, where we stood in the late afternoon sun when August turned to autumn.
Some things will always be static.