Summer Under the Sprinklers

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The whole gang kicked off its shoes with a collective
flupclup on the knee-scarred pavement
to wriggle white toes like blind nightcrawlers
in the slipping grass. We rolled between the blades
of water sphiphshot from sprinkler heads, shine
in moth-veiled lamplight. Katie’s smile gleamed
with saliva and joy at Nathan. Not me. You
tackled my back with a playful tug, strong arm,
and I felt the suck of my shirt as it peeled from sweat
thick skin. Kelly green stripes bled across the fabric
but I laughed, the sound reflected in your pine eyes.
Tylar tugged your hair, glee sticky on her fingertips,
and I tucktumbled toward the dripping light.
The moon was two shades of pale, like Katie’s knees
crooked around Nathan’s waist, their lips hidden
in shadow. Tylar’s hair smacked her mouth
strung through the gap in her teeth; she laughed.
You laughed in my direction, but the wind swoosh-
blocked my ears so I only saw your silent side. Quiet
heat conducted the cicadas and krompkromp chorus
of froglings. I croaked from your weight again
Tylar crowed Katie and Nathan melted into the treebark
Tylar froze in the eyes of stars, staring back. And you
had to test the resistance of my lips with your tongue,
stripping the sprinklers and stars and lovers from my summer.





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