Elegy for Summer Girl and Me | Teen Ink

Elegy for Summer Girl and Me

August 27, 2018
By jl637 DIAMOND, Livingston, New Jersey
jl637 DIAMOND, Livingston, New Jersey
72 articles 0 photos 16 comments

This is how I remember the two of us:

   legs intertwined over the moss-speckled branches of an angel oak,

our skin slick with sweat and July heat,

   mosquitos feasting on the blistering dry air and our pubescent nakedness,

their wings buzzing, buzzing.


Madison wore skinny jeans,

but her thighs bulged from the ripped fabric like twin suns.

She counted the calories to every breath of air

that flowed into her lungs,

measuring her worth in etched wrists and the amount of rose perfume

she needed to wear so that boys would crawl towards her like

ants from their hill. We shaved away the lazy afternoons with flavored ice and cola,

our fingers bleeding sticky and warm against the crushing humidity.


Madison would stare at me

   with eyes blue like the sky, like Atlantic sea foam and moon jellyfish, like the

varicose veins protruding from her tiny trembling hands.

   You’re my only friend, she told me once between sips of cola,

her pupils hollow as peach pits, black and bare and bleak.

   Don’t joke like that, I laughed. She held my hand but wouldn’t

meet my eyes. It’s the truth, she said. It’s the damn truth.


And on the crumbling sidewalks of our small-town suburbia,

she pretended not to notice the men with their cigars

and wolfish grins, baring sharp teeth gnawed by yellow.

As Madison walked down Winnett Road toward her house, the asphalt electric

with cicadas and catcalls, her cheeks burned fuchsia-pink-red.

My, my. the men howled at her through the salt of their mouths.

What a beautiful woman you’ve become.

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