Horse Creek Levee
At Horse Creek levee by the sod farm,
azure-thrumming skies were veined with
the silver-green reaches of birches.
We chain smoked until sick,
stubbed out our butts in the sand,
sank our empty cans and sent them
We swam oceans in that campestral creek,
floated on our backs with our ears submerged,
heard the roar of the green murky world beneath
and giggled as minnows nipped at our toes.
As the crickets’ trilling rose,
the dusk dripped and pooled around us -
violet ink soaking sundown clouds
still glowing pink.
We took final leaps
off the bridge into the frigid
water, staggered the perimeter
drunk and grinning.
The surrounding meadows on a sweltering night
were lit bright with the sparkle of fireflies.
We’d capture a few in a big Mason jar,
and stab holes in the lid with a pocketknife.
We’d sit around the fire renouncing our gods,
drink until we retched up our convictions.
And then the crimson-ridged skies were shipwrecked
in jet. We fell back and made pebbly sand angels.
We stared up at the glittering brushstroke of stars,
and embraced in the shadows for tattered scraps
of validation, skipped rocks in the dark,
strummed out chords on a battered guitar,
and our laughter sang hymnals
to the gospel of summer.
Tamara Burross has published a poem in New World Writing, and is a graduate of the SUNY Buffalo State College English Literature program.