Summer, barefoot, knee-deep in windblown green
sunlit sprinkler jets tickling tiny toes
an exaggerated surfer pose
Cicada’s cellophane wings
black-veined, breeze-lifted, somehow not scary
How diligently we prepared with picture books
and talk of red-eyed beauty
You’re falling off the slide in slow motion
headfirst toward asphalt
I’m too far away, again
Late-night illnesses and pain you can’t communicate
balled up against the bathroom wall
enduring, glassy-eyed and fever-scorched
together we wait for the sunrise
Thousands of sunrises
return us to days before you were here
Silence reigns in rooms you once animated
Shadows and dust, objects we refuse to move
gut punch reminders of an ending, books closed
You will come back but you’ll go again
I don’t have to feel good about it
but I am supposed to accept it smiling
So I’ll smile today

John Meyers lives and writes in Maryland. His poems and stories appear or are forthcoming in The Louisville Review, Fiction Southeast, Chicago Literati, and Thrice Fiction, among others. His flash story “The Blue Maverick Crew” is a finalist in Fiction Southeast’s 2017 Ernest Hemingway Flash Fiction Prize contest and his story “Motorbike” won Pulp Literature’s 2016 Bumblebee Micro-fiction Award. John once worked for Ringling Bros. Circus. He can be found online at

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