summer solstice

by Emma C., 15

I want to call your name 
the noise ricocheting sharply like a shot around the narrow walls 
and fly down an alleyway filled with light to meet you 
midnight-blue skirt pleats billowing like petals, breeze caressing my skin 
I want to secretly slip my hand in yours for a fleeting moment 
as we bob along, buoyed by an effervescent zephyr 
separating and coming back together, weaving like singing swallows 
across the gentle cobblestone waves 
the rosy hint of morning sun on your lips 
and the fresh scent of summer in your hair 
I want to succumb to the pull of promise 
and prowl the bustling shopping streets of Ginza at lunch break 
burning up with the thrill of doing the forbidden 
and the giddy excitement of being free 
I want to run and run and keep running forever 
in a sobbing sky 
the gray mist blooming over emerald rice paddies 
splashing in puddles and feeling the wet, sinking, soaking chill 
and watching you fling the shaking droplets from your limp, hanging hair 
I want to laugh like there’s no tomorrow 
the air squeezing out of my lungs in gleeful bursts 
as we try, and fail, to snag a plushie from the claw machine for the sixteenth time 
and walk away with empty hands, light wallets, and brimming hearts 
I want to lean against you on the subway ride home 
reaching up to tightly clasp the oscillating handles 
and not quite being tall enough, but that’s okay 
I want to press a soft kiss to your cheek 
as the sky dims around us 
holding a cup of bubble tea in one hand and 
the faded smell of leather and eraser shavings in the other 
I want to feel the world grind to a halt 
hearing the melodic chime and the rush of crisp, biting night air as the doors open 
letting in a constellation of serendipity 
idyllic, infectious, intoxicating, igneous, ichorous 
I want to lie on a velvet carpet of viridity 
watching the festival glow like an ember of hope 
a village, a tradition, a home coming alive 
tucked into the crook of two silent, listening mountains 
seeing branded into the sleeping valley with apoplectic torches 
and the fireflies perform their sacred dance
rising up, up, up into the satin curtain of darkness without a care in the world 
and vanishing as soon as their light begins to shine 
I want to discover more 
in you 
and in me 
than we ever thought possible 
cradling the strawberry moon in our hands 
holding the orphic fire in our souls

Summit, New Jersey