- Ellie Laabs
In Expectation of Summer
These, the crushed-cicada days.
Dry heat on brick, shoes quicken
under sweat. Everything feels trodden
one too many times. A smutty haze breathes
on the windowpane. The solstice will not come.
We are ice sculptures, you and I,
circling the storm drain on main street.
Voices echo from the sewers preaching
certain deliverance. You wipe your brow
with a water-logged shirt and stare at the mirage
at the road’s end as though it might be an object
of unparalleled fantasy.
You wear sleeves of grass stains,
you push up the earth. I laugh.
We run through fields like burnt, hungry beggars.
We are white to the touch. We are comatose in the sunshine.
The time is sweaty, catatonic.
The heart keeps sobbing in its sleep.
I curse as I cut the heads
off strawberries. I remind myself of my mother.
Someone’s undrunk drink cries
on the coffee table. My mind winds about
like a ball of rubber bands.
I do not try to strip the wrapping paper
off my soul. You do not ask me to.
Summer makes us naked anyhow.
I try to see the veins on my heart. I want to know
if they are blue. Sweat drips.
The body delivers itself again
and again in acute reconsecrations.
Ellie is a wise fool who recently graduated from St. John's College in Annapolis. She considers it her life's work to find the right words and the right ways to say them.