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We trickle back from the sandbar in pairs,

jet-ski ferried and paddleboard punted

for the sound of the dinner bell. We do it

ourselves now, the making of the food

and the timekeeping. The sun is

so suddenly low even the frogs are

surprised, rumbling as we pass

to make up for lost time. I watch

a turtle push another off a log.

The dock is hot on the soles of our feet

so we dip them in the channel. Tonight

we eat chili, a tweaked heirloom recipe

because I can’t have cilantro. I grate

fresh garlic to compensate and we

compare our tans in the flattering

incandescence of the kitchen light.

After dinner we play volleyball

on the neighbors’ nets until it gets

too dark to see the ball and someone

takes it to the nose. We start a fire

for the mosquitos and to warm our faces

and I make everyone a Reese’s s’more.

We wish on shooting stars before we learn

it’s just Elon again. We cry a little

remembering how young is too young

for our friends to die. We have never been

more alive.


Julian Kanagy

Julian Kanagy is a Chicago-based poet and editor. His poetry samples a Midwestern upbringing peppered with loss and abandonment, thrives both in the confines of formal structure and the simplicity of its absence, and expands into an ongoing search for the beauty in everyday life when it seems to be hiding. He started Heirlock Magazine to amplify underrepresented voices and The Wild Umbrella to celebrate writing for writing's sake; both as an editor and in his own work, Julian follows the advice of a mentor: “find the poems that nobody else could have written.”

1 commentaire

14 déc. 2023

Lovely! I am reminded how alert loss can make us to the simple pleasures of life. -- Carol Barrett

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