July, July, July, has left. Brought me words, brought me salt, brought me morning glory but then the landlord cut the trumpets down. In the mess, I saw tomatoes, cherries, drops. I looked closer, found mint, pulled off the leaves and crushed them in my palm so he would believe me, sunk them in my tea. I found a hammock, pile of stained strings and chains. I will wash it. I will find a tree to hang it. I will write on the porch, wave to the neighbors, coast my bike to the library, cook. I will do all these things despite the swirl inside me. I will ride it. I wake up every day with a bad feeling and pray for it for tide.
Rose Polenzani sang: the night has hurt me again in the heart of my favorite summer.
Have you ever sung a song for years and never understood the words? And then you do. Now I do. Now I listen to Rose, to Johnny, to Lucinda, to Dylan, to cowboys. I listen to the longing, the gravel, the ghost. I want to drink cheap beer in tall bottles. I want to break glass. I want to wear jeans too tight to peel off. I want to sit by myself at a bar and let the smoke curl around me like a stranger’s arm.
This is my favorite summer, I whose skin is unspeakably soft. The bones beneath are unbelievably strong. You can say that.
How can something be your favorite and hurt? Because it can. Because it does. Because mint, because porch, because bee sting, because glass break, because you are my favorite, my favorite and burn.