Chloe in August
by Bea Stevenson | June 11, 2019
We wake together, downy arms
interwoven over warm summer stomachs.
She rises first, slips from bed
to bask at the window’s shrine
to midday sun.
Wayward strands of butterscotch hair
glare blonder still in the wake of sun’s flooding.
She sheds a skin of cotton vest, shorts,
steps into last night’s white dress,
floating thinly around her thighs.
Our soles beat into the empty house
where we descend to the kitchen.
There we weave around each other like butterflies,
fetching peaches and oranges in a time before
Her hangover is a momentary warmth.
It dissolves now into cool garden air
where we mingle and drowse in honeyed sweat,
stretches of uneven grass our sunbeds
on these days.
Day sharpens into focus as
golden evening finds us spinning, drinking,
singing back to the sleepless radio.
We girls dance amidst visiting boys,
rejoicing now in borrowed drink.
She wants us to liberate ourselves
to fly, bare footed and glistening
through familiar lanes. Her reckless body
scarcely misses the harsh caress
of midnight’s cars.
Alone now, we two pass kisses
and bottles atop cracked pavement.
Gathering ourselves and forgetting boys,
we retreat indoors to release the drink
from our humming bodies.
We converge in bed, arched and laughing
into the clutch of swarming sheets.
Slackened fingers interlink as our
sticky discourse stills
Poem by Bea Stevenson. Illustration by Léa Gayer de Mena.