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  • Rena Shapiro


I rise from the electronic portal of distractions splayed on my bedside like an extra sheet kicked off in the night. Summer's hot, damp, debilitating breath can be heard through every window. With it come clarity and an enticing invitation to stand underneath its streams. I pass the kitchen clock. 11:24. I open the porch door to a content dog watching the water in its boxing match with the patio stones. I become collateral damage as I step out and absorb the relief of each mark the clouds land nonchalantly on my skin. The solar lanterns continue to glow, white shimmer fading into gold rings, hovering in the omnipotent gray of this sultry twilight. I return to the porch, where another lantern glows. A table for two. I put my misty glass of homemade iced tea to my lips and tilt my head back, met with the taste of honeysuckle, earth on fabric, overripe fruit, and bitter, beautiful rain. The lonely lantern is distorted through the auburn memories of summers past. It sets them aflame as I come up for air, still watching the light collected in the condensation. The water of air, my summer infatuation, I welcome you back.

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