by Montana Rogers

The summer of ’89
was cruel, warmer
than the usual heavy heat
that lumbered across
New England fields;
it weighed on each blade
of brown grass, even
wilting the wisteria
along the rail
of the front porch.

You lost our game
of rock, paper, scissors
and fell out of bed, reaching
to open the window,
twisted in damp sheets
that billowed on the line
the day before. Naked,
my arms stuck to the sides
of my body, and I tasted
a bead of sweat at the corner
of my mouth.

It was a Sunday
and quiet. The woodpecker
next door in the birch tree
dozed; the chipmunks
dared not stir. Life was
paused in a blistering haze.
A moment memorialized
the following May:
sweet Rebecca.
Soft, hushed, warm.