a/n: Summer.


The city is the color of
Garlic and sewerage and spices and pee and sweat and ocean and desert
And it smells like
Red and yellow and green and brown and blue
And he sounds like
Bronzed forearms and American Eagle posterboys and incredulous expressions and
beautiful shoulder blades (she calls them wing-bones
And he laughs because his are so prominent)
And he looks like
Surprised hoots of mirth melded warmly with the balmy air of a tiny room
in the middle of the city
And songs and confidence and carefree joy and pessimism with hope
And he is somehow closer to her than anything else.

So, she asks him,
In worn flip flops on grimy cobblestone roads with
Free juice samples and crappy souvenirs pushed at them from every corner
Will you forget me?
Only he's asked the question first
With that tone of adolescent nonchalance, with
Eyes brightened by heat and dehydration and teenage invincibility
Promise me we won't…
I want to…
I'm worried that…
(Come on, come on, this isn't so hard…)
She likes that he is afraid and not-afraid all at once.

The city feels like
Tiles and arches and iron curls and religion and seas and whitewashed walls and
sunlight across stone
And it is shaped by
Freedom and independence and exhaustion and all these incredibly alive qualities that
It is impossible to put into words
She is suddenly a person who is
sweat-glistening and soft-eyed listening, and tanned and slender and bright and sharp
And the one who makes the boy laugh
And she feels happier than she has, she thinks, in her life

So, she wraps herself in memories
Of sleepy, dusty summers and music and friends
in heated apartments with no air conditioning and air so hot that
its sticky humid fingers nearly burn off the skin (but not quite)
Clings tightly to the clear-eyed-girl-self
who sat on a sun-warmed tiled bench by the busy street
and drank lemon slushies that drew in the cheeks and numbed the tongues
of her and her sitting partner
and wondered about
The mortality of humans when it comes to buses and metros
And was perhaps caught in a stranger's vacation snapshot,
Sitting next to a long-limbed boy with dreams and a future and sharply observant eyes
(that let her be brave, most of all)
She likes that sort of captured immortality.

So, she remembers the good-bye,
With arms wrapped around her waist and his grievingly joyful and joyfully grieving cry
And the way she was spun around and around as if she weighed nothing at all and how
Her face and elbows
Tightly buried in and wrapped around his neck as if
Trying to hold the summer, the city, the crooked streets and his crooked grin
And his calloused hands spread equally tightly around
Her sensitive lower back and hips
Seemed not to be so awkwardly fitted.
And oh, oh, but she wants never to let go of this dizzy spinning circle
So, she tells him, muffled into his shoulder,
I will miss you,
But he has gotten there first, whispered into her cheek
I will miss you
And I will miss what makes you you
And I will miss your sun and your shoes and your heart
And I will miss you,
I will miss you
And they look like
Unspoken words and unbidden tears and goodbye songs
And they sound like
Naivety and sunlight and birds with wings like wind and...


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