Summer of Mary
You taught me how
to shave my legs,
the downy almost invisible
blonde strands of silk falling
to the razors swath, the last vestige
of a child's body helpless
against the vanity
of a teenagers critical eye.
But I loved you that summer,
loved your shiny pageboy flip,
your tweezed eyebrows and ice pale
lips. You were sophisticated in a way
I coveted but didn't understand.
I don't need to hear you say “I love you”, I
want to know you do by the look in your eyes,
the touch of your hand, the way you listen when
I talk. I don't need candy, flowers, diamonds or
trips around the world. I only need you to be there
during my darkest hours when I cover my head
and wail like a lost child because life has left me
bereft. I need you by my side when it counts: when
the hurricane is coming, when loved ones die, when
friends desert, when I fall into the biggest, darkest
hole I've ever been in in my life and I push you away
and say I hate you and I hate my life and all other
manner of despicable things. I want to know you
will never, ever leave me.
Today I suddenly smelled your
scent on the breeze like vapor from the bayou.
I closed my eyes and tried not to breathe
too deeply, instinctively knowing I'd lose it
in the rush of air into my lungs the same way
knew I'd lose you all those years ago
if I loved too deeply.
The tickle of your afternoon beard on my face,
the pearl white buttons nestled in the blue of your shirt,
your tanned hand with a half moon scar warm against
the curve of my waist all came back as if we'd just
parted today, still fresh as new baby skin.
I opened my eyes and the sun had burned off
the vapor and the tickle on my face
was only sweat. Your half moon scar lies
on someone else's waist.
At 11:13 pm
and after two vodkas
I'm wanting the night
to last forever,
for this mellow liquid of light
to keep me wrapped up
in cottoned ignorance
in an ice ballet, pirouetting
into delicious abandonment.
Charlotte Hamrick’s work has appeared in several literary journals including Literary Orphans, Connotation Press, Blue Fifth Review, and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and a menagerie of furry children where every single day inspires her creativity. You can find her at zouxzoux.wordpress.com