5 Parts of the Body I Notice in Summer

by a contributor

from Sam Martone, author of Coyote Girl:

  1. Feet, when wading into the rain-swollen creek, when sinking ankle-deep into silt. Lightning cackles from the sky as soon as we get back in the car, as though we summoned it, and my gritty toes feel along the labyrinth of the brake pedal.
  2. Nose, when plagued by a summer cold, when rubbed raw, when blown bruised. It feels like butter at every touch, soft, like it could melt away against my thumb. I hear her sniffling across the room.
  3. Palm, when read beneath a blue umbrella used as shade against the sun. There is a moment of confusion, of crossing lifelines and loveliness. No one can see who it is under here unless they lean over to look.
  4. Hips, when skinny-dipping in a moon-clear pond. She swims over to me, her hair wet and glistening like a ski slope. I can feel the weight of our waists, the heaviness of hips that weigh nothing at all, the parts of our bodies that have between them only just enough water to drown.
  5. Ear, when I whisper into hers even though I should be looking up. The fog will muffle my voice so she won’t have to hear me when I say I can’t tell the difference between the star-strewn sky and the spiraling galaxy of her tiny ear.