Chloe in August

by | 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

needing coffee.


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

into sleep.


Poem by Bea Stevenson. Illustration by Léa Gayer de Mena.