The hottest, shortest summer of my adolescence kicked off at the will of my next door dream,
who yanked me away from our snore-worthy suburban street and hoisted me into the sweltering summer night, sky black and air thick as ink; my cautious hand trembling in her tight grasp.
She lugged my dumbfounded, fumbling frame through brush and bog water, mumbling
something about an anniversary, whispering between breaths-- all the while
I labored to catch mine. Right as I thought I’d wrapped my head around her vibe, she stiffened up, halted in front of mossy stump propping a tackle box and a vet’s hat. Staggered gasps and whimpers leaked from her quivering lips, interrupting a chorus of chirps and croaks on all sides.
She knelt, curled her fingers around the cap, kissed the navy cotton, stuttered I’m not alone.
I laid a lumbering hand on her shoulder, and silently wished I could be anywhere else.