Noon—she eats a jar of cherries for breakfast, juices trailing lines of sugar down her chin. She sports reddening cheeks, clusters of freckles, and brushes back lost strands of wavy brown hair from in front of her eyes.
She sprawls out in her backyard on a beach towel in her navy-blue bathing suit, sunglasses, growin’-into-‘em legs—Judy Blume novel laid out in front of her, pages shaded by the longest-reaching branches of a hundred-year-old oak tree.
Stems pile up in the grass next to her right elbow, fingers sticking to the corners of the pages she turns, little pink prints scattered across the fiber.
She feels the long hours in the sun collecting on the pucker of skin above her upper lip, hours shining from the natural highlights in her hair to the lingering scent of sunscreen around her and the sweat pooling on the insides of her knees.
This, the last of the maraschino summers-- just a little girl with peach-fuzz legs and cherry-picking breasts-- no worries except for the bees watching over her glass of lemonade, and a pause, every few minutes, to swat them away with her free hand.
Kaitlyn Crow is a queer poet based in Richmond, Virginia. Their works have appeared bluestockings magazine, Wrongdoing Magazine, and COUNTERCLOCK among others. They serve as an editor at K'in Literary Journal and Chaotic Merge Magazine. You can find them on Twitter @queeryeehawpoet.