by Alice Xu
marianne & julieanne try to freeze
summer as it blossoms in their backyard
& bursts with revivals. they perform
rituals: wolf down ice cream that sticks
to their hands like glue
while trees learn silence & birds
learn tune. fans choke down heat
& grandma rocks out in the patio,
her straw hat golding, asleep. the hide-
and-seeks leave their knees bruised
& aching for ointment, for an encore
of the sundried rocks shielding their backs,
of adrenaline coursing, of plants that covered.
marianne & julieanne preserve
summer until it melts in september.