Finalist: Abigail Povill

For Becca

We excuse ourselves early,
            sit under the yellow glow 
of the back porch light,
ignoring the prick of mosquitos
at our bruised shins 
            It’s warm outside
The sun’s last breaths 
stir the wasted hydrangeas in the yard,
the air heavy with dusky perfume 
            I want to make a flower crown
but the dandelions crumple 
beneath my fingers.

            She sits at my side
our lungs filling 
to the same rhythm,
            inhaling the ruby-ripe promise of summer 
as thick as the evening humidity.
            We close our eyes 
and dream of peach ice cream
a phantom sweetness that coats our tongues 
            nighttime creeping across our thighs like moss 

It’s Tuesday
            or Thursday— 
            one of those watercolor days
to be swept away 
with the changing seasons
            I can feel the weeks unspooling at my feet 
like the ribbons that I use
to mark the pages of my books
How beautifully they unravel. 
            We are making a playlist
of songs about the apocalypse
            most of them are lovesongs. ◐