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I miss the syrup of that summer-
the cold rush of air on my arm
as it hung out the driver’s side window.
Washing rust off of my hands on my lunch break,
intoxicated by the false sense of security
that comes from a first paycheck.

In those months, I worshipped at the altar
of secondhand DVDs,
driving thirty minutes in the torrential downpours of August
to procure another addition to the collection.

Peter Gabriel narrated the days
through the CD I burned,
accompanying me on my morning drives to the hardware store.

I painted your face on worn-out leather,
on primed wood,
on any surface I could get my hands on.
Because that was the summer I first fell in love with your big cow eyes.

I’m falling in love with you again this summer,
though this one tastes more like vinegar:
Soured by regret.

Summer 2019