OTHER SUMMERS

i Austinville 1950

Belly blackened
from tire swings
summer was
osh kosh easy.

In steaming kitchens
women wiped brows
over jelly cauldrons.

Ginny hung clothes
and listened to
white children prattle.

Grandpa bought
bushel baskets
of peaches.

And I spent time
hiding out from
the cistern,
the storm cellar
and the dark
stair well.
 
ii Arizona 1961

In Arizona
summer nights
are like
toast.

On parents’
patios we
learned about
sex.

I was standing
at the clothesline
when they told
me Mama was
dying.

iii Contempo West 1964

Emma Lou
got knocked up
I dropped

philosophy
lived on
cantaloupe
and watermelon.

We made love
across New Mexico,
fat Indians
chased us.

iv Carmel 1966

Bryn ran away
hiding
in Big Sur
she collected
roaches and
older men.

At home
in her bedroom
I hung out with
her brother.

We listened
to electronic
music and
Leadbelly.

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