Summer Photograph

by Amy Wolstenholme

Bluebells bloom from the refuse heap,
Plait a crown for broken pots and leaves.
Grass blades weave: in-out. Beetles dart – come in
come out! – through the dandelion gridlock.
Beating hearts; butterfly eggs on nettle beds.
Moth wings. Shining things. Fireflies breed in
luminous excess behind the potting shed.
Night dark, quick start, bats flash behind the cars.
Worms writhe. Swallows dive. Sing out
there is beauty in this, in this–

Teenagers sprawl in gold dew fields.
Quick hearts, quick hands. Did they see us?
Let’s stand. Let’s run. Where the sky swoops
down to kiss the trees and the birds flash up to
court the breeze. Soft mouth. Hard lungs.
Cigarette ash on street side tongues.
Cars honk. Traffic rush. Short, short skirts –
Do you see me now? – to make you blush.
Slip and slide through city lights and lipstick
stain the towels. Nightclub prowl. We are
wild now. Watch us run. Sing out
there is beauty in this, in this–

Casanova air. Thunderstorm stare. Come on.
Sit down in the park in lamp-lit dark. Hold my hand.
Listen to the band. Music like forever, love.
Where the stars spawn in the pond. Children drown.
Dive down, yes, deeper. Wear the river
as your summer dress. Press the damp earth
between your palms and breathe. Fingernails bite.
Hold tight. Burning heat under the skin, between
the leaves. Forest fires take up the trees. Ash flies.
Time lies, children run. Learn how it is to inhale
the sun. Take it in, take it in. Burn. Sing out
there is beauty in this, in this–

Glass shards shine out on the beach.
Human jewels. Sprawl, sand in your eyelashes,
Grit in your mouth. Spit it out. Watch,
watch the way the sky consumes the skin.
The sea calls out – come on, come in! – across
the beach towel scape. Seagulls cry. Sunglasses spy.
Creep away through the churchyard,
Name after name, same time, same place.
Same old heartbreak. Sit down on a wall.
Brick dust. Sharp cuts. Ants below, birds above.
Egg shell sky, fractured blue, light in your hair.
Stop. Just there. Turn, smile, lean back.

camera flash

Sing out there is beauty in this, in this.
But not forever. Not for long
Stick it into the album, that same old song:
Summer is gone.
Is gone.