by Rory O’Hollaren
August fills up and sets in like a bathtub
of hot water and clean soap.
The mirror is all fogged up
with guitar waves and bonfire smoke,
things she should have known far sooner.
And all the time, grass sweats against
the shoulders of Summer. She was lying
with a neglected book in her lap,
a cold bottle of Coke in her left hand.
The clouds were smiling at her across the sky,
and the sun was winking at her through the trees,
telling her to stay, stay here just a while longer
to watch the last of the flowers unlatch from their vines
and grow into the soil.
Summer has seen sunsets from the tops of mountains,
moonrises from canoes on a lake,
and fireflies through the window of a rental car.
She has stayed up late
to watch a storm beating like a heartache,
its veins lighting up and screaming
for a love that would die careless in the morning.
She danced in loud dark rooms and ran
along the unmovable coast,
but half the time she was sleeping, dreaming through August.
Now, the water has cooled off.
Summer is sleepy from lying in the bath. She stands up,
and August melts off of her like a popsicle in the sun.
She clicks the latch of her bathroom window and wishes
for her towel to be cool and dry and soft
as the sky in the morning of September.