Summer After Freshman Year

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Singing on a fevered stream
                         We shot the summer full
               Of anxious promise –

Many a melancholy morning
                       Conceded to insomnia
         Led to a brief, yet deep
                        Afternoon sleep
Littered with impressions
                 Of a diminishing amour
That I just could not keep
                                         And ah! Those swarthy
                       Naked nights spent immersed
                           In chlorinated pools
                                    Among nubile Aphrodites
                Cheap tequila ravishing me
                                                 With a captivating cupidity
                    Nevertheless, far too
                                                           Oblivious
                                          To make a move
And those still more
              Solitary nights abandoned
                   In sullen back roads
          Fleeing the encroaching stars
                                       And that derelict amour
                    Bearing down on me
                                       An oppressive shroud –

Summer arias, summer storms
                         Sunshowers and turbulent hail
              Avalanched like Junebugs
                            Toward an impregnable glow
 Makeshift July Fourths
                 Raged in soybean fields
                                                Like imitations of Vietnam
              And we bathed our cold
                               Cold spirits
                            In splendid August fires
        Yet no matter how many times
                                        I peered through those
                         Sonorous flames
                                       Not once did I see her
                           My finicky amour
           Peering back at me –

We drank and drank
               Drank such frightful decadence
         Until we saw our youth
         Beginning to sputter out
         Like a car with an empty tank
                                                On an existential freeway
           We sought Nietzsche’s muse
We reveled in Korean massage parlors
           We braced against the rising
                                                Prices of cigarettes
          And she, my evanescent amour
                                              Gleaned no hope for me –

                          The flames slowly resigned
                             Summer receded behind
                                                And I, guitar slung
                                     Across my shoulder
                                       And my throat broken with strep
                                                          Departed
                     For another semester at college –

-r. miller

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