By Annie Zidek
This summer, the sun beat down, but its love beat down even harder; it was like Sofia Coppola directed the minute details, but my body did the rest. Girls and boys played games we’d seen in films, and the midsummer heat felt all but hazy. It burned. There are scars. But that’s what summer is, and you don’t give up the fight. Here in the empty time lapses of October, I’ll tuck in small poems from June, her masterful hands slitting throats, from July, his hair caught fire in the afterglow, and from August, her voice echoing through six countries.
crystalized hearts chase Mars at dawn
their sun soaked tresses leave trails
of forgotten lightdust on the road
and at night lightbugs
make love in the brush next to the street
the setting moon is our war call
and we shriek
and we scour
until there’s no one left to fight
lapping milk out of your hands
before it seeps through the cracks.
the wolves have already kissed
the blank space between my neck and shoulder.
they’re painted crimson with my blood:
my fingers in the alpha,
my toes in the omega.
I’m in more than two places at once;
I’m dancing past pink houses
and prowling past babies I’ll never meet.
orion, what have you done?
now my bones are merely rattles
for the male ego while the snow
sits stained with my fidelity.
tame these beasts with a thread,
stitching decency and formality into their paws
so each time they step
their bodies ache with weight of their knavery.
the days are wine: sweet, hazy, smooth.
we sat in nervous grass and swam in eager rivers.
our blood is too sweet,
so the mosquitoes kiss us—arms, lips, thighs.
we ache for weeks with red welts of love,
small reminders that parts of us are so easily taken.
like a canned peach, the sun swells
bulbous and fruitful in a hasty sky.
standing atop church spires during golden hour,
I watch the sun cower.
I’ve never seen someone leave earth so quickly,
and now the pregnant moon reigns with summer hymns.
naked bodies and think air:
this is July.
Don’t look back at June;
she carries a weight no man can handle.
one of her nights, they used ice from saturn’s rings
as machetes and slaughtered those
with curved spines and restless sons.
amorous lips and amorous hands and—
mmf—those german lullabies lull me into promises
i cannot keep.
we are walking on the rubble of dresden:
charred, unsteady, guilt-ridden.
but we are humans, eager for touches
and broken toes.
ignoring pocket watches and bedside lamps,
we mimic schiele’s “lovemaking,”
with disfigured lines and steady colors
bleeding into the white with our confident hands.
our jaws will start wars
and our knees will buckle under
and we will be collateral.
there won’t be an armistice;
instead our mouths will be lined with canker sores
and our countrymen will rot with us in enamored skin.